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University  of  California  •  Berkeley 

/  \ 


Regional  Oral  History  Office 
The  Bancroft  Library 

This  manuscript  is  made  available  for  research 
purposes.   No  part  of  the  manuscript  may  be  quoted  for 
publication  without  the  written  permission  of  the 
Director  of  The  Bancroft  Library  of  the  University  of 
California  at  Berkeley. 

Requests  for  permission  to  quote  for  publication 
should  be  addressed  to  the  Regional  Oral  History 
Office,  486  Library,  and  should  include  identification 
of  the  specific  passages  to  be  quoted,  anticipated  use 
of  the  passages,  and  identification  of  the  user. 

Regional  Oral  History  Office 
The  Bancroft  Library 

University  of  California 
Berkeley,  California 

Earl  Warren  Oral  History  Project 

Nina  Palmquist  Warren 
James  Warren 
Earl  Warren,  Jr. 
Nina  Warren  Brien 
Robert  Warren 

Notes  from  the  California  First  Lady 
Recollections  of  the  Eldest  Warren  Son 
California  Politics 
Growing  up  in  the  Warren  Family 
Playing ',  Hunting,  Talking 

Interviews  Conducted  by 
Amelia  Fry  and  Miriam  Feingold  Stein 
in  1970,  1971,  1976,  1977,  1978 

Copy  No . 

Copyright    Cc\   1980  by  The  Regents  of  the  University  of  California 

January  16,  1991 


.James  C  Warren 

James  Cleveland  Warren,  71,  a 
prominent  figure  in  the  Ntpa  Val 
ley  wine  industry  and  eldest  sen  of 
•  the  late  Chief  Justice  Earl  Warren, 
died  Monday  at  his  St.  Helena 
ranch  after  a  long  illness. 

Mr.  Warren  headed  the  real  es 
tate  firm  of  James  Warren  and 

Son,  which  specialized  in  vineyard 
land  and  wineries.  He  was  one  of 
the  founders  of  Freemark  Abbey 
Winery  and  helped  dozens  of  small 

wineries  get  started.     "  . 

*  versity  of  California  at  Berkeley, 
!  where  he  was  president  of  his  f  ra- 
pternKy,  Chi  Piu.  aneU  varsity  nig- 
{.jAy  player. 

While  at  Harvard  Business 
.  he  enlisted  in  the  Marine 
arid  served  as  a  lieutenant  in 

South  Pacific  la  World  War  JL 

A  former  vice  president  with 
Jte'-advertfemg  firm  of  fatten. 
Barton,  Durstine  It  Qsbora.  he  and 
to  tanity  had  had  *  ranch  in  St. 


taetade   his    wife, 

Known  for  his  straw  cowboy 
hats  and  folksy  ads,  the  son  of  the 
three-term  California  governor 
was  an  ardent  conservationist  who 
opposed  commercial  development, 
freeways  and  the  Napa  Valley 
wine  train. 

-    .     -.  f**r  —• 

Be  considered  his  crowning 
achievement  to  be  the  acquisition 
of  the  Oak ville  land  that  enabled 
Robert  Mondavi  and  Baron  Phi 
lippe  de  Rothschild  to  produce  the 
Opus  I  vintage  •.  •  v  f  "-• 

An  Oakland  native,  Mr.  Warren 
was  an  honor  graduate  of  the  LJnj- 

rMOPf    .  *^ 

old  mother,  Nina  Warren  of  Wasn% 
ington,  D.C.;  three  cons,  James  of": 
Lafayette,  Jeffrey  of  St.  Helena* 
and   John  of   Los  Angeles;  ..two 
brothers,  Judge  Earl  Warren;  ;Jr.t; 
of  Sacramento  and  Robert  Warren ; 
of  Davis;  two  sisters,  Virginia  Dail£  • 
of  Chevy  Chase,  Md .,  and  Nina  Bri-  * 
an  of  Beverly  Hills;  and   nine ' 

-grandchildren.  ..       .'• 

A  prayer  service  will  be  held  • 
Friday  at  11  a.m.  at  St.  Helena 
Catholic  Church.  Visitation  -hours 
at  the  Morrison  Funeral  Chapel  in 
SL  Helena  will  be  tomorrow  from  2 

,  to  7p.m.  .  .      • 


The  Earl  Warren  Oral  History  Project,  a  special  project  of  the  Regional 
Oral  History  Office,  vas  inaugurated  in  1969  to  produce  tape-recorded  interviews 
with  persons  prominent  in  the  arenas  of  politics,  governmental  administration, 
and  criminal  Justice  during  the  Warren  Era  in  California.   Focusing  on  the  years 
1925-1953,  the  interviews  were  designed  not  only  to  document  the  life  of  Chief 
Justice  Warren  but  to  gain  new  information  on  the  social  and  political  changes 
of  a  state  in  the  throes  of  a  depression,  then  a  war,  then  a  postwar  boom. 

An  effort  was  made  to  document  the  most  significant  events  and  trends  by 
interviews  with  key  participants  who  spoke  from  diverse  vantage  points.  Most 
were  queried  on  the  one  or  two  topics  in  which  they  were  primarily  involved;  a 
few  interviewees  with  special  continuity  and  breadth  of  experience  were  asked  to 
discuss  a  multiplicity  of  subjects.  While  the  cut-off  date  of  the  period  studied 
was  October  1953,  Earl  Warren's  departure  for  the  United  States  Supreme  Court, 
there  was  no  attempt  to  end  an  interview  perfunctorily  when  the  narrator's  account 
had  to  go  beyond  that  date  in  order  to  complete  thev  topic. 

The  interviews  have  stimulated  the  deposit  of  Warreniana  in  the  form  of 
papers  from  friends,  aides,  and  the  opposition;  government  documents;  old  movie 
newsreels;  video  tapes;  and  photographs.   This  Earl  Warren  collection  is  being 
added  to  The  Bancroft  Library's  extensive  holdings  on  twentieth  century  California 
politics  and  history. 

The  project  has  been  financed  by  four  outright  grants  from  the  National 
Endowment  for  the  Humanities  ,  a  one  year  grant  from  the  California  State  Legis 
lature  through  the  California  Heritage  Preservation  Commission, and  by  gifts  from 
local  donors  which  were  matched  by  the  Endowment.   Contributors  include  the  former 
law  clerks  of  Chief  Justice  Earl  Warren,  the  Cortez  Society,  many  long-time  sup 
porters  of  "the  Chief,"  and  friends  and  colleagues  of  some  of  the  major  memoirists 
in  the  project.  The  Roscoe  and  Margaret  Oakes  Foundation  and  the  San  Francisco 
Foundation  have  Jointly  sponsored  the  Northern  California  Negro  Political  History 
Series,  a  unit  of  the  Earl  Warren  Project. 

Particular  thanks  are  due  the  Friends  of  The  Bancroft  Library  who  were 
instrumental  in  raising  local  funds  for  matching,  who  served  as  custodian  for  all 
such  funds,  and  who  then  supplemented  from  their  own  treasury  all  local  contribu 
tions  on  a  one-dollar-for-every -three  dollars  basis. 

The  Regional  Oral  History  Office  was  established  to  tape  record  autobiogra 
phical  interviews  with  persons  prominent  in  the  history  of  California  and  the 
West.   The  Office  is  under  the  administrative  supervision  of  James  D.  Hart, 
Director  of  The  Bancroft  Library. 

Amelia  R.  Fry,  Director 

Earl  Warren  Oral  History  Project 

Willa  K.  Baum,  Department  Head 
Regional  Oral  History  Office 

30  June  1976 

Regional  Oral  History  Office 

^86  The  Bancroft  Library 

University  of  California  at  Berkeley 



Principal  Investigators 

Ira  M.  Heyman 
Lavrence  A.  Harper 
Arthur  H.  Sherry 

Advisory  Council 

Barbara  Nachtrieb  Armstrong  * 

Walton  E.  Bean  * 

Richard  M.  Buxbaum 

William  R.  Dennes 

Joseph  P.  Harris 

James  D.  Hart 

John  D.  Hicks  * 

William  J.  Hill 

Robert  Kenny* 

Adrian  A.    Kragen 

Thomas  Kuchel 

Eugene  C.  Lee 

Mary  Ellen  Leary 

James  R.  Leiby 
Helen  R.  MacGregor  * 
Dean  E.  McHenry 
Sheldon  H.  Mes singer 
Frank  C.  Nevman 
Allan  Nevins  * 
Warren  Olney  III* 
Bruce  Poyer 
Sho  Sato 

Mortimer  Schwartz 
Merrell  F.  Small 
John  D.  Weaver 

Project  Interviewers 

Amelia  R.  Fry 
Joyce  A.  Henderson 
Rosemary  Levenson 
Gabrielle  Morris 
Miriam  Feingold  Stein 

Special  Interviewers 

Orville  Armstrong 
Willa  K.  Baum 
Male a  Chall 
June  Hogan 
George  W.  Johns 
Frank  Jones 
Alice  G.  King 
Elizabeth  Kerby 
James  R.  Leiby 
Dillon  Myer 
Harriet  Nathan 
Suzanne  Riess 
Mortimer  Schwartz 
Ruth  Teiser 

*  Deceased  during  the  term  of  the  project. 


(California,  1926-1953) 

Interviews  Completed  and  in  Process  -  August  1979 

Single  Interview  Volumes 

Amerson,  A.  Wayne,  Northern  California  and  Its  Challenges  to  a  Negro  in  the 
Mid-I900s,  with  an  introduction  by  Henry  Ziesenhenne.   1974,  103  p. 

Breed,  Arthur,  Jr.,  Alameda  County  and  the  California  Legislature:  1935-1958. 
1977,  65  p. 

Carter,  Oliver  J.,  A  Leader  in  the  California  Senate  and  the  Democratic 
Party.  1979,  200  p. 

Carty,  Edwin  L.,  Hunting,  Politics,  and  the  Fish  and  Game  Commission.   1975, 
104  p. 

Chatters,  Ford,  View  from  the  Central  Valley:  The  California  Legislature, 
Water ,  Politics,  and  The  State  Personnel  Board,  with  an  introduction  by 
Harold  Schutt.   1976,  197  p. 

Dellums,  C.L.,  International  President  of  the  Brotherhood  of  Sleeping  Car 
Porters  and  Civil  Rights  Leader,  with  an  introduction  by  Tarea  Pittman. 
1973,  159  p. 

Paries,  Mclntyre,'  'California  Republicans,  1934-1953.   1973,  155  p. 

Graves,  Richard,  Theoretician,  Advocate,  and  Candidate  in  California  State 
Government.   1973,  219  p. 

Huntington,  Emily  H. ,  A  Career  in  Consumer  Economics  and  Social  Insurance, 
with  an  introduction  by  Charles  A.  Gulick.   1971,  111  p. 

Jahnsen,  Oscar  J.,  Enforcing  the  Lou  Against  Gambling,  Bootlegging,  Graft, 
Fraud,  and  Subversion,  1922-1942.   1976,  212  p. 

MacGregor,  Helen  R. ,  A  Career  in  Public  Service  with  Earl  Warren,  with  an 
introduction  by  Earl  Warren.   1973,  249  p. 

McGee,  Richard  Allen,  Participant  in  the  Evolution  of  American  Corrections: 
1931-1973.   1976,  223  p. 

McLaughlin,  Donald,  Careers  in  Mining  Geology  and  Management,  University 

Governance  and  Teaching,  with  an  introduction  by  Charles  Meyer.  1975,  318  p. 

Olney,  Warren  III.   In  process. 

Patterson,  Edgar  James,  Governor's  Mansion  Aide  to  Prison  Counselor,  with  an 
introduction  by  Merrell  F.  Small.   1975,  79  p. 


Pittman,  Tarea,  NAACP  Official  and  Civil  Rights  Worker,  with  an  introduction 
by  C.L.  Dellums.   1974,  159  p. 

Powers,  Robert  B.,  Law  Enforcement,  Race  Relations:  1930-1960,  with  an 
introduction  by  Robert  W.  Kenny.   1971,  180  p. 

Rumford,  William  Byron,  Legislator  for  Fair  Employment,  Fair  Housing,  and 
Public  Health,  with  an  introduction  by  A.  Wayne  Amerson.   1973,  152  p. 

Sherry,  Arthur  H.,  The  Alameda  County  District  Attorney's  Office  and  the 
California  Crime  Commission.   1976,  146  p. 

Small,  Merrell  F.,  The  Office  of  the  Governor  Under  Earl  Warren.  1972,  227  p. 
Sweigert,  William. 

Taylor,  Paul  Schuster,  California  Social  Scientist,  three  volumes. 

Volume  I  -  Education,  Field  Research,  and  Family,  with  an  introduction 

by  Lawrence  I.  Hewes.   1973,  342  p. 

Volumes  II  and  III  -  California  Water  and  Agricultural  Labor,  with 
introductions  by  Paul  W.  Gates  and  George  M.  Foster.   1975,  519  p. 

Warren,  Earl.   In  process. 
Wollenberg,  Albert. 

Multi- Interview  Volumes 

BEE  PERSPECTIVES  OF  THE  WARREN  ERA.   1976,  186  p. 
Rodda,  Richard,  From  the  Capitol  Press  Room. 
Phillips,  Herbert  L. ,  Perspective  of  a  Political  Reporter. 
Jones,  Walter  P.,  An  Editor's  Long  Friendship  with  Earl  Warren. 

Clifton,  Florence,  California  Democrats,  1934-1950. 

Clifton,  Robert,  The  Democratic  Party,  Culbert  L.  Olson,  and  the  Legislature. 
Kent,  Roger,  A  Democratic  Leader  Looks  at  the  Warren  Era. 
Outland,  George,  James  Roosevelt's  Primary  Campaign,  1950. 
Post,  Langdon,  James  Roosevelt's  Northern  California  Campaign,  1950. 
Roosevelt,  James,  Campaigning  for  Governor  Against  Earl  Warren,  1950. 

CALIFORNIA  STATE  FINANCE  IN  THE  1940s,  with  an  introduction  by  Stanley  Scott. 
1974,  406  p. 

Links,  Fred,  An  Overview  of  the  Department  of  Finance. 

Groff,  Ellis,  Some  Details  of  Public  Revenue  and  Expenditure  in  the  1940s. 

Killion,  George,  Observations  on  Culbert  Olson,  Earl  Warren,  and  Money 
Matters  in  Public  Affairs. 

Post,  A.  Alan,  Watchdog  on  State  Spending. 

Leake,  Paul,  Statement  on  the  Board  of  Equalization. 

EARL  WARREN  AND  HEALTH  INSURANCE:  1943-1949.   1971,  216  p. 

Lee,  Russel  VanArsdale,  M.D.,  Pioneering  in  Prepaid  Group  Medicine. 
Salsman,  Byrl  R.,  Shepherding  Health  Insurance  Bills  Through  the  California 


Clay combe,  Gordon,  The  Making  of  a  Legislative  Committee  Study. 
Cline,  John  W.,  M.D.,  California  Medical  Association  Crusade  Against 

Compulsory  State  Health  Insurance. 


Tallman,  Frank  F. ,  M.D.,  Dynamics  of  Change  in  State  Mental  Institutions. 
Hume,  Portia  Bell,  M.D.,  Mother  of  Community  Mental  Health  Services. 

by  E.S.  Rogers.   1973,  409  p. 

Merrill,  Malcolm  H. ,  M.D.,  M.P.H.,  A  Director  Reminisces. 

Stead,  Frank  M. ,  Environmental  Pollution  Control. 

Ongerth,  Henry,  Recollections  of  the  Bureau  of  Sanitary  Engineering. 

Zimmerman,  Kent  A.,  M.D. ,  Mental  Health  Concepts. 

Arnstein,  Lawrence,  Public  Health  Advocates  and  Issues. 

EARL  WARREN  AND  THE  YOUTH  AUTHORITY,  with  an  introduction  by  Allen  F.  Breed. 
1972,  279  p. 

Holton,  Karl,  Development  of  Juvenile  Correctional  Practices. 

Scudder,  Kenyon  J. ,  Beginnings  of  Therapeutic  Correctional  Facilities. 

Stark,  Heman  G. ,  Juvenile  Correctional  Services  and  the  Community. 

Beam,  Kenneth  S.,  Clergyman  and  Community  Coordinator. 


Drury,  Newton,  A  Conservationist  Comments  on  Earl  Warren  and  Harold  lakes. 
Schottland,  Charles  I.,  State  Director  of  Social  Welfare,  1950-54. 

EARL  WARREN'S  BAKERSFIELD,  1971,  185  p. 

Ashe,  Maryann,  and  Ruth  Smith  Henley,  Earl  Warren's  Bakers  field. 

Gavins ,  Omar ,  Coming  of  Age  in  Bakers  fie  Id. 

Vaughan,  Francis,  Schooldays  in  Bakers  field. 

Kreiser,  Ralph,  A  Reporter  Recollects  the  Warren  Case. 

Martin,  Manford  and  Ernest  MacMillan,  On  Methias  Warren. 

EARL  WARREN'S  CAMPAIGNS.   Three  volumes. 
Volume  I  -  1976,  324  p. 

Barnes,  Stanley  N. ,  Experiences  in  Grass  Roots  Organization. 

Cunningham,  Thomas  J.,  Southern  California  Campaign  Chairman  for  Earl 
Warren,  1946. 

Draper,  Murray,  Warren's  1946  Campaign. in  Northern  California. 

Mailliard,  William  S.,  Earl  Warren  in  the  Governor's  Office. 

Mull,  Archibald  M. ,  Jr.,  Warren  Fund-Raiser;  Bar  Association  Leader. 

McNitt,  Rollin  Lee,  A  Democrat  for  Warren. 


Volume  II  -  1977,  341  p. 

Knowland,  William  F.,  California.  Republican  Politics  in  the  1930s. 
Feigenbaum,  B.  Joseph,  Legislator,  Partner  of  Jesse  Steinhart,  Aide  to 

Earl  Warren. 

Ladar,  Samuel,  Jesse  Steinhart,  Race  Relations,  and  Earl  Warren. 
Steinhart,  John,  Jesse  and  Amy  Steinhart. 
Hansen,  Victor,  West  Coast  Defense  During  World  War  II;  The  California 

Gubernatorial  Campaign  of  1950. 
Mellon,  Thomas  J.,  Republican  Campaigns  of  1950  and  1952. 

Volume  III. 

McCormac,  Keith,  The  Conservative  Republicans  of  1952. 


Brownell,  Herbert,  Earl  Warren's  Appointment  to  the  Supreme  Court. 
Finkelstein,  Louis,  Earl  Warren's  Inquiry  into  Talmudic  Lou. 
Hagerty,  James,  Earl  Warren's  Appointment  to  the  Supreme  Court. 
Oliver,  William,  Working  in  the  Supreme  Court:  Comments  on  Court,  Brown 

Decision,  Warren  and  Other  Justices. 

Richman,  Martin  F. ,  Lou  Clerk  for  Chief  Justice  Warren,  1956-1957. 
Stassen,  Harold,  Eisenhower,  the  1952  Republican  Convention,  and  Earl 

Small,  Merrell  F.,  Letter  Regarding  Earl  Warren's  Court  Appointment, 

November  15,  1972. 

Brown,  Edmund  G.,  Sr.,  The  Governor's  Lawyer. 

Kenny,  Robert ,  California  Attorney  General  and  the  1946  Gubernatorial  Campaign. 
Kuchel,  Thomas ,  California  State  Controller. 

EARL  WARREN:  VIEWS  AND  EPISODES.   1976,  250  p. 

Hale,  Mildred,  Schools,  the  PTA,  and  the  State  Board  of  Education. 
Kerr,  Clark,  University  of  California  Crises:  Loyalty  Oath  and  Free 

Speech  Movement. 
Kragen,  Adrian,  State  and  Industry  Interests  in  Taxation,  and  Observations 

of  Earl  Warren. 

McConnell,  Geraldine,  Governor  Warren,  the  Knowlands,  and  Columbia  State  Park. 
McWilliams,  Carey,  California's  Olson-Warren  Era:  Migrants  and  Social  Welfare. 
Siems,  Edward  H.,  Recollections  of  Masonic  Brother  Earl  Warren. 

Gallagher,  Marguerite,  Administrative  Procedures  in  Earl  Warren's  Office, 

Scoggins,  Verne,   Observations  on  California  Affairs  by  Governor  Earl 

Warren's  Press  Secretary. 
Vasey,   Beach,   Governor  Warren  and  the  Legislature. 

THE  GOVERNOR'S  FAMILY.      In  process. 

Warren,  Earl  Jr.,  California  Politics. 

Warren,  James,  Recollections  of  the  Eldest  Warren  Son. 

Warren,  Nina  (Honeybear)  [Mrs.  Stuart  Brien] ,  Growing  up  in  the  Warren  Family. 

Warren,  Robert,  Playing,  Hunting,  Talking. 


Cavanaugh,  Hartley,  A  Mutual  Interest  -in  Government,  Politics*  and  Sports. 
Lynn,  Wallace,  Hunting  and  Baseball  Companion. 

THE  JAPANESE-AMERICAN  RELOCATION  REVIEWED,,  with  an  introduction  by  Mike  M.  Masaoka. 

Two  volumes . 

Volume  I:   Decision  and  Exodus.      1976,    196  p. 

Rowe,   James,  The  Japanese  Evacuation  Decision. 

Heckendorf,  Percy  C.,  Planning  for  the  Japanese  Evacuation;  Reforming 

Regulatory  Agency  Procedures. 

Clark,   Tom,   Comments  on  the  Japanese-American  Relocation. 
Ennis,   Edward,  A  Justice  Department  Attorney  Comments  on  the  Japanese- 
American  Relocation. 

Wenig,  Herbert,  The  California  Attorney  General's  Office,   the  Judge 
Advocate  General  Corps ,   and  Japanese- American  Relocation. 

Volume   II:    The   Internment.      1974,    267   p. 

Cozzens,   Robert,  Assistant  National  Director  of  the  War  Relocation  Authority. 
Myer,   Dillon  S.,   War  Relocation  Authority:  The  Director's  Account. 
Kingman,   Ruth  W.,   The  Fair  Play  Committee  and  Citizen  Participation. 
Hibi,   Hisako,   paintings   of  the  Tanforan  and  Topaz  camps. 

LABOR  LEADERS  VIEW  THE  WARREN  ERA,   with  an  introduction  by  George  W.   Johns. 
1976,   126  p. 

Ash,   Robert  S.,  Alameda  County  Labor  Council  During  the  Warren  years. 

Haggerty,   Cornelius  J.,  Labor,  Los  Angeles,   and  the  Legislature. 

LABOR  LOOKS  AT  EARL  WARREN.      1970,   145  p. 

Bulcke,  Germain,  A  Longshoreman's  Observations. 
Chaudet,   Joseph  W. ,  A  Printer's  View. 
Heide,  Paul,  A  Warehouseman's  Reminiscences. 
Simonds,  U.S.,  A  Carpenter's  Comments. 
Vernon,   Ernest  H.,  A  Machinist's  Recollection. 

introduction  by  Arthur  H.    Sherry.      Three  volumes. 
Volume  I  -  1972,   137  p. 

Mullins,  John  F.,  How  Earl  Warren  Became  District  Attorney. 

Balaban,   Edith,  Reminiscences  about  Nathan  Harry  Miller,   Deputy  District 
Attorney,   Alameda  County. 

Hamlin,   Judge  Oliver  D. ,  Reminiscences  about  the  Alameda  County  District 
Attorney  's  Office  in  the  1920s  and  20s. 

Shaw,  Mary,  Perspectives  of  a  Newspaperwoman. 

Shea,  Willard  W. ,  Recollections  of  Alameda  County's  First  Public  Defender. 

Volume  II  -  1973,    322  p. 

Chamberlain,  Richard  H.,  Reminiscences  about  the  Alameda  County  District 

Attorney  's  Office. 
Jester,  Lloyd,  Reminiscences  of  an  Inspector  in  the  District  Attorney's 

Heinrichs,   Beverly,  Reminiscences  of  a  Secretary  in  the  District  Attorney's 

Severin,   Clarence  E.,   Chief  Clerk  in  the  Alameda  County  District  Attorney's 


Spence,  Homer  R. ,  Attorney,  Legislator,  and  Judge. 
Daly,  E.A.,  Alameda  County  Political  Leader  and  Journalist. 
Bruce,  John,  A  Reporter  Remembers  Earl  Warren. 


Volume  III  -  1974,  165  p. 

Coakley,   J.   Frank,  A  Career  in  the  Alameda  County  District  Attorney's 


Hederman,  Albert  E.,  Jr.,  From  Office  Boy  to  Assistant  District  Attorney. 
Jensen,  Lowell,  Reflections  of  the  Alameda  County  District  Attorney. 
Oakley,  James  H.,  Early  Life  of  a  Warren  Assistant. 

RICHARD  M.  NIXON  IN  THE  WARREN  ERA.   In  process. 
Adams,  Earl 
Crocker,  Roy 
Day,  Roy 

Dinkelspiel,  J.S. 
Jorgensen,  Frank 

1976,    276  p. 

Ramsay,   Ernest  G.,  Reminiscences  of  a  Defendant  in  the  Shipboard  Murder  Case. 

Grossman,  Aubrey,  A  Defense  Attorney  Assesses  the  King,  Ramsay,   Conner  Case. 

Harris,  Myron,  A  Defense  Attorney  Reminisces. 

Resner,  Herbert,   The  Recollections  of  the  Attorney  for  Frank  Conner. 

Johnson,  Miriam  Dinkin,  The  King-Ramsay-Conner  Defense  Committee:   1938-1942. 

Odeen,  Peter,   Captain  of  the  Point  Lobos. 

THE  WARRENS:   FOUR  PERSONAL  VIEWS.      1976,    137  p. 

Albright,  Horace,  Earl  Warren  Job  Hunting  at  the  Legislature. 
Stone,   Irving  and  Jean,  Earl  Warren's  Friend  and  Biographer. 
Henderson,   Betty  Foot,  Secretary  to  Two  Warrens. 
Swig,   Benjamin  H. ,  Shared  Social  Concerns. 

Regional  Oral  History  Office  University  of  California 

The  Bancroft  Library  Berkeley,  California 

Earl  Warren  Oral  History  Project 

Nina  Palmquist  Warren 

Copyright   (c)   1980  by  The  Regents  of  The  University  of  California 

TABLE  OF  CONTENTS  -  Nina  Palmquist  Warren 


Letter  from  Nina  E.  Warren  to  Amelia  Fry,  February  13,  1979  1 

Answers  to  Amelia  Fry's  Questions  on  Visit  to  Bancroft  Library, 

December  14,  1978  2 

Warren  Family  Christmas  Card,  1948,  designed  and  drawn  by  James  Warren     5 

Warren  Family  Christmas  Card,  1949  ,  designed  and  drawn  by  James  Warren     6 


The  following  four  pages  represent  an  in-lieu  interview  with  Nina 
Palmquist  Warren,  a  heroic  effort  on  her  part  which  she  contributed  in 
spite  of  her  deep-seated  conviction  that  any  memoir  of  hers  could  be  "only 
incidental"  to  her  husband's  and  should  not  deserve  separate  treatment.   When 
she  visited  the  Earl  Warren  Oral  History  Project  on  December  12,  1978,  she 
took  time  after  lunch  to  sit  between  our  crowded  desks  and,  in  informal  (and 
untaped)  conversation,  answer  a  few  crucial  questions  about  her  family.   These 
we  typed  up,  mailed  to  her  with  new  questions,  and  received  in  return  the 
following  typescript  which  is  photocopied  from  the  original. 

So  this  is  her  own  record,  a  great  concession  from  a  gentle  and  charming 
lady  who  on  April  13,  1976,  had  written  us:   "So  far  as  my  own  life  being 
documented  is  concerned,  I  think  that  it  is  the  Chief  Justice's  life  in  which 
the  public  is  interested,  and  mine  would  be  only  incidental  to  that...   While 
I  appreciate  your  interest  in  having  my  views  on  these  subjects,  under  the 
circumstances,  I  do  not  think  that  any  meaningful  purpose  would  be  served  by 
my  consenting  to  an  interview." 

One  of  the  fuller  portayals  of  the  first  lady  of  California  appeared 
October  30,  1977,  in  a  Sunday  Sacramento  Bee,  Section  A,  by  Nan  Nichols. 

Amelia  R.  Fry 
31  January  1980 

Hotel  &  iMotor  Inn 


WASHINGTON,  D.C.  20008 

February  13th,  1979. 

Dear  Amelia: 

Yesterday's  mail  brought  your  letter  of 
February  ?th  and  it  arrived  within  five  days.   How 
ever,  I  don't  knov;  if  my  letter  will  ever  get  out 
of  Washington  as  we  really  had  an  unexpected  snow 
storm  last  night.   Instead  of  2  inches  we  got  eight 
inches,  and  this  caused  a  terrible  traffic  tie-up 
everywhere.   Hundreds  of  cars  were  left  stranded 
and  the  tractors  couldn't  clear  the  main  arteries 
until  they  were  towed  away.   Washington  does  not 
know  how  to  cope  with  snow.  All  the  schools  are 
closed  so  the  youngsters  will  be  happy. 

As  promised,  I  am  enclosing  the  answers 
to  the  memos  on  the  copy  you  gave  me  during  our 
delightful  visit  on  December  li^th.   I  think  I  have 
covered  "all  the  bases"  -  if  not,  let  me  know.   I  am 
not  proud  of  my  typing  and  really  should  re-type  it, 
but  as  it  is  just  a  rough  draft,  I  hope  it  answers 
the  purpose.  r  ^ 


I  am  sending  you  our  Christmas  cards. 

Those  drawn  and  designed  by  our  son,  Jim,  entailed        ^ 
a  lot  of  work  and  detail.   He  was  in  the  advertising 
business  with  B.B.D  &  O  in  San  Francisco  when  he  re 
turned  from  the  war.   Mow  he  is  in  real  estate  in 

Ray  Brown,  who  had  a  shop  in  the  Farmers' 
Market  in  Los  Angeles,  made  the  silhouettes.  ^v, 

I  am  also  sending  you  a  copy  of  a  book      \\ 
written  by  my  sister,  Eva.   She  was  a  wonderful  person, 
as  was  her  husband,  Tom  Moseley.   Thought  you  might 
enjoy  reading  this  in  your  spare  time  -  if  you  ever 
have  any'. 

Warmest  love  to  you,  and  please  remember 
me  to  the  wonderful  staff. 



My  father's  name  -  NILS  PETER  PALMQUIST  -  Osteopath  and  Baptist  Minister 

Born  in  Sweden  April  18,  1856 

Died  in  Oakland,  Calif.  January  19,  190?   (51  yrs.  old) 
of  Tuberculosis. 

My  mother's  maiden  name  -  Hannah  Olivia  Elise  Malmstrom 

Born  in  Malmo,  Sweden  April  114.,  1869 

Died  in  San  Diego,  Calif.  November  23,  1898   (29  yrs.  old) 
leaving  5  little  ones. 

Enoch  Nicholas  born  in  Sweden  (changed  his  name  to  Edward) 

Eva  Marie 

Jacob  Emmanuel  '  James 

Nina  Elisabeth       '  Visby,  Gotland,  Sweden 

Hannah  Elise     "    "  South  Bend,  Indiana. 

The  family  left  San  Diego  after  my  mother's  death  and  established  a  home  in 
Oakland.  My  father  remarried  -  Sophia  Albertina  Rosenberg,  who  also  was 
born  in  Sweden.  She  was  a  devout  Baptist  who  kept  the  family  together. 


My  brother,  James,  was  stricken  with  tuberculosis  when  19  years  old  and  sent 
to  a  sanatorium  in  Arizona.  There  the  disease  was  arrested,  but  he  died 
when  29  years  old  during  the  "flu"  epidemic  In  1919. 

My  brother,  Edward,  also  died  in  Arizona  with  tuberculosis  the  following  year. 

This  made  it  necessary  for  my  two  sisters  and  me  to  find 
employment.  All  three  of  us  were  employed  by  Crane  Company,  (wholesale 
plumbing  supply  company)  In  Oakland,  and  also  in  the  San  Francisco  office. 
(Crane  Company's  main  office  is  in  Chicago.) 

I  attended  Heald's  Business  College  at  night  in  order 
to  obtain  my  technical  business  training. 

My  sister,  Eva,  married  Thomas  Moseley,  who  was  Dean 

of  the  Nyack  Bible  Institute,  Nyack,  New  York  for  18  years.  Before  that 
they  spent  25  years  in  China  on  the  border  of  Tibet.  They  were  called  home 
by  the  Board  of  the  Christian  and  Missionary  Alliance,  due  to  the  danger 
and  disturbance  in  China.  They  have  two  children,  Elizabeth  and  Robert. 

Dr.  Thomas  Moseley  was  born  in  England  March  1886 
Died  in  Glendale,  Calif.  December  1959. 

My  sister,  Eva,  was  born  In  Sweden,  Julyl889 
Died  in  Glendale,  Calif.  June  1,  1976. 

My  sister,  Hannah,  married  James  Ross  Gordon,  who  died  many  years  ago. 
She  remarried,  Dr.  Ralph  W.  French  of  Sonoma,  who  also  died.  She  has  two 
children,  Myra  and  James. 

My  first  husband,  Grover  Cleveland  Meyers,  a  pianist  of  note,  died  of  the 
Incurable  disease  of  tuberculosis,  and  I  was  left  with  a  very  young  baby, 
Jim.  This  illness  used  up  the  resources  of  the  family  and  I  was  compelled 
to  return  to  work.   I  took  a  position  in  the  office  of  a  woman*s  Specialty 
Shop  in  Oakland,  which  I  later  managed.   Jim  was  6  years  old  when  I  married 


I  met  Earl  at  a  birthday  breakfast  party  (swimming)  on  a  Sunday 
morning  given  by  mutual  friends.  During  the  period  of  our  engagement,  both 
of  us  were  very  busy  -  Earl  as  Chief  deputy  district  attorney,  and  I  at 
the  Specialty  Shop.  After  Earl  was  selected  by  the  Board  of  Supervisors  to 
succeed  the  late  Ezra  Decota,  who  was  appointed  to  the  Railroad  Commission, 
we  were  married  in  the  First  Baptist  Church  in  Oakland,  by  Dr.  John  Snape 
on  October  Ik,  1925.   (Earl  was  then  District  Attorney). 

Our  first  home  was  a  flat  on  Greenwood  Ave.,  in  Oakland.  Virginia 
was  born  here.  We  then  moved  to  958  Larkspur  Road  where  Earl,  Jr.,  Dorothy, 
Honey  Bear  and  Robert  were  born.  Five  children  were  born  within  six  years 
and  four  months.  Needless  to  say,  it  was  difficult  to  get  help  with  so 
many  little  ones,  consequently  all  my  time  was  devoted  to  my  family  and  the 
maintenance  of  our  home.   When  Bob  was  a  baby  we  bought  a  large  home  at 
88  Vernon  Street.   It  was  spacious  and  ideal  for  our  large  family. 

Earl  was  always  most  understanding  of  my  situation  and  never 
expected  me  to  fill  social  obligations. 

Sunday  was  nmy  day  off11  and  Earl  took  al  1  the  children  visiting, 
to  the  zoo,  the  recreation  parks,  beach,  and  many  other  places  as  long 
as  they  were  happy.  Honey  Bear  and  Bobby  rode  in  Infant's  seats.  These 
trips  necessitated  bottles  of  milk,  cookies,  toys  and  diapers.   Earl  had 
no  driver  in  those  days,  and  I  marvel  how  he  could  take  care  of  so  many 
little  ones,  but  he  looked  forward  to  these  outings. 

He  gave  up  playing  golf,  and  to  my  knowledge  the  clubs  have  not 
been  removed  from  the  bag  since  1925*   (Perhaps  because  they  are  left- 
handed  clubs). 

Our  children  will  never  forget  Christmas  at  88  Vernon  Street. 
It  had  all  the  traditional  features,  but  to  them  was  added  one  unique 
custom.  Each  child  had  his,  or  her,  own  Christmas  tree,  corresponding 
to  his  or  her  size,  and  around  it  were  the  gifts.  Our  recreation  room  was 
veryblarge.  The  trees  were  ranked  in  size,  from  a  big  one  for  Jim,  to 
the  smallest  for  Bob. 

Here  is  a  list  of  our  children,  and  their  children. 

James  James  Lee,  Jeffrey  Earl,  and  John  Albert  Warren 

Virginia  John  Warren,  John  Jamison  and  Nina  Elisabeth  Daly 

Earl,  Jr.  Wendy  Jean,  Earl  III,  Ross  and  Clay  Warren 

Dorothy  No  children 

Honey  Bear  William  Warren,  Earl  Warren,  and  Heather  Brien 

Robert  Debra  Arleene,  Leslie  June,  and  Linda  Susanne  Warren 

I  mentioned  to  you  that  I  bought  the  following  "on  time"  as  we 
started  housekeeping  from  scratch: 

Portable  Washing  Machine..  ....  ..$7*00  per  month 

China  ..................  7.00  "   " 

Crystal  ................  7.00  M 

Vacuum  Cleaner  .........  7.00 

(Britannica)  Encyclopedia  .........  ..  7.00 

It  took  a  long  time  to  pay  off  this  indebtedness. 



Regardlng  Earl's  family.   He  had  one  sister,  Ethel,  who  was  four 
years  older  than  Earl.   She  was  born  in  Minneapolis,  November  15,  188?, 
and  died  June  17,  1966  in  Oakland,  California. 

Ethel  was  married  to  Vernon  Roland  Plank.   He  died  at  14.5  years 
of  age,  suddenly  on  the  golf  course. 

They  had  two  children,  Dorothy  who  spent  six  years  In  a  tuber 
culosis  sanatorium  and  died  in  her  twenties. 

(World  W5f  II) 

Warren  Roland,  their  son,  returned  home/from  the  Marine  Corps 
in  the  Pacific  and  spent  several  years  in  the  hospital.   He  was  released 
as  an  "arrested  case".   He  married  -  had  three  fine,  healthy  sons,  and 
a  lovely  wife.  "Bud"  as  he  was  always  called,  died  while  jogging  in 

I  think  your  memo  regarding  the  first  Christmas  in  the  Mansion 
reminded  me  of  our  first  tree.   The  State  Dept.  sent  a  huge,  beautiful 
16  ft.  tree  to  the  Mansion.   It  was  placed  in  the  front  living  room  where 
it  could  be  seen  by  passer-bys  on  the  street.   I  brought  cartons  of  lights 
and  ornaments  from  our  Oakland  home.  Shortly  after  the  housekeeper  and  I 
had  trimmed  the  tree,  the  telephone  rang  and  someone  from  the  Capital 
wanted  to  know  what  color  ornaments  and  lights  we  wanted  -  that  someone 
would  come  over  and  trim  the  tree.  Of  course,  I  was  delighted.  We  dis 
mantled  the  tree.  The  following  day,  I  received  a  phone  call  informing 
me  that  the  State  had  NEVER  furnished  ornaments,  lights,  etc.  for  the 
Mansion  tree.   I  assured  them  that  I  had  made  no  such  request,  and  was 
surprised  when  the  offer  was  made.    However,  I  did  tell  them  that  I  had 
been  greatly  inconvenienced  ,  especially  removing  the  lights.  As  a  result, 
an  electrician  arrived  and  replaced  the  lights,  and  I  retrlmmed  the  tree. 

I  am  sending  you  a  set  of  our  Christmas  cards.  Those  made 
by  Jim  entailed  a  lot  of  work  -  he  Is  a  perfectionist. 

Ray  Brown,  who  had  a  shop  In  the  Farmers'  Market  In  Los  Angeles 
designed  the  silhouette  cards. 

I  eliminated  the  Willis  B.  George  plumbing  shop  episode  as 
Crane  Co.,  was  a  repitltlon,  If  you  want  to  include  it,  your  notes  tell 
the  story.   Perhaps  I  had  better  repeat  the  situation.  My  sister,  Eva, 
worked  as  a  bookkeeper  for  Willis  B.  George  &  Co.  in  Oakland,  Calif. 
The  manager  of  Crane  Co.  often  called  at  this  office  on  business,  and 
was  Impressed  by  her  efficiency,  etc.  and  offered  her  a  position  in  the 
Oakland  office.  When  she  left,  I  took  her  place  -  then  I  went  to  Crane 
Co.  and  my  sister,  Hannah,  took  my  place.   She,  too,  Joined  us  at 
Crane  Co. 

I  think  this  covers  all  the  memos  on  your  papers. 

Warren  Family  Christmas  Card,  1949,  designed  and  drawn  by 
James  Warren 

Warren  Family  Christinas  Card,  1948,  designed  and  drawn  by 
James  Warren* 

Bob Margaret Jim jimmy 


, v«,  V         > 

v-       f 

In  the  (riendliol  spirit  of  the  Yulctide  t«ason 
Saint  Nick  left  hit  bundle... for  a  very  good  reason; 
It's  packed  full  of  greeting},  and  toys,  bells  and  horns 
...For  a  resounding  MERRY  CHRISTMAS  from 

*Additional  Warren  family  Christmas  cards  designed  and  drawn  by  James  Warren 
may  be  found  in  The  Bancroft  Library. 

Regional  Oral  History  Office  University  of  California 

The  Bancroft  Library  Berkeley,  California 

Earl  Warren  Oral  History  Project 

James  Warren 

An  Interview  Conducted  by 

Miriam  Feingold  Stein 

in  1976 

Copyright    ©   1980  by  The  Regents  of  the  University  of  California 

,  •  / 

rs~   ->  <  . 


.^*^  -   y^-^^x' 


The  Chief  Justice  with  his  three  sons,  at  the  Nut  Tree,  Vacaville,  California, 
December  1962.   From  left  to  right:   James,  Robert,  and  Earl,  Jr.   Caption 
reads,  "Dear  Jim:   Never  was  I  in  better  company.   Affectionately,  Dad.  4/9/63" 

TABLE  OF  CONTENTS  —  James  Warren 



Military  Academy  4 
Transfer  to  the  Oakland  Public  Schools  8 
Sports  and  Injuries  9 
Schoolwork  11 
Summertime  and  Household  Chores  13 

Studies  15 
Organizations  and  Athletics  17 



Bridging  Office  and  Home  24 

Family  Life  at  Vernon  Street  26 


Family  Recollections  29 

The  Vernon  Street  House  31 

Jim  Warren's  Christmas  Cards  33 

The  Fight  to  Join  35 
Marriage  38 

Climbing  the  Corporate  Ladder  39 
The  Decision  to  Leave  Advertising  41 




INDEX  54 


James  Warren  was  interviewed  by  the  Earl  Warren  Oral  History  Project 
of  the  Regional  Oral  History  Office  of  The  Bancroft  Library  in  order  to 
record  his  reminiscences  of  life  in  the  Earl  Warren  family.   As  the  Warrens' 
eldest  son,  he  provides  important  insight  into  the  personal  side  of  Earl 
Warren's  life  and  into  the  family  that  was  his  focus  and  mainstay. 

Interviewer:   Miriam  Feingold  Stein 

Time  and  Setting  of  the  Interview:   A  single  interview  lasting  several  hours 
was  held  on  July  26,  1976  in  James  Warren's  real  estate  office  in  St.  Helena, 

Conduct  and  Editing  of  the  Interview;   Mr.  Warren  was  eager  to  assist  the 
Warren  Project,  and  before  the  interview  had  carefully  reviewed  and  annotated 
the  interview  outline  and  chronology  of  Earl  Warren's  career  that  had  been 
sent  to  him  by  the  interviewer.   During  the  interview  session  he  kept  telephone 
interruptions  to  a  minimum,  and  after  the  tape  recording  was  completed  he  and 
his  wife,  Margaret,  provided  lunch  and  informal  reminiscences  at  their  ranch 
located  high  in  the  hills  overlooking  St.  Helena.   The  ranch  had  been  and 
continues  to  be  the  site  for  numerous  Warren  family  reunions. 

Both  at  this  and  at  a  subsequent  meeting,  Mr.  Warren  pulled  out  boxes 
of  family  photos  and  memorabilia,  including  a  file  of  Christmas  cards  that 
he  had  designed  and  drawn,  several  of  which  he  kindly  loaned  to  the  Earl 
Warren  Project  for  inclusion  in  this  volume. 

The  tape  recording  was  transcribed,  then  edited  by  the  interviewer  to 
correct  typographical  errors  and  to  maintain  continuity.  Mr.  Warren  carefully 
reviewed  the  edited  transcript  and  made  several  additions  and  corrections. 

Narrative  Account  of  the  Interview:   A  robust  man  of  medium  height,  with  salt 
and  pepper  hair,  Mr.  Warren  reminisced  easily  about  life  in  the  Earl  Warren 
family  and  his  own  career.   He  opens  with  several  characteristic  stories  about 
his  mother,  Nina  Warren,  then  turns  to  his  own  education  and  upbringing.   He 
describes  the  rigorous  education  and  discipline  at  the  Del  Monte  Military 
Academy,  and  his  subsequent  transfer  to  the  Oakland  public  schools,  ( — it  was 
at  this  point  that  the  widowed  Nina  Palmquist  Meyers,  his  mother,  married 
Earl  Warren,  who  immediately  adopted  the  seven-year-old  James.   James  hence 
forward  regarded  Earl  Warren  as  his  natural  father. — )   and  discusses  with 
enthusiasm  his  involvement  in  high  school  athletics.   His  schoolday  recollec 
tions  shed  light  on  Earl  Warren's  great  concern  as  a  father  in  encouraging  his 
children's  widely  varied  interests  and  talents. 


Continuing  with  his  college  years  at  the  University  of  California. 
Berkeley,  James  Warren  describes  his  growing  interest  in  art,  his  organi 
zational  affiliations  (which  closely  paralleled  his  father's)  and  the  in 
fluence  of  his  father's  philosophy  of  pursuing  with  discipline  and  respon 
sibility  a  broad  range  of  activities  that  were  challenging  and  that  gave 
one  "a  good  mental  workout". 

Mr.  Warren  paints  a  warmly  vivid  and  personal  picture  of  life  in  the 
district  attorney's  and  attorney  general's  home.  Warren  as  a  father 
devoted  his  entire  attention  at  home  to  his  family  and  carefully  shielded 
them  from  the  pressures  and  controversies  of  his  office.  He  showed  deep 
interest  in  his  children's  activities,  attending  their  sports  competitions 
and  school  events  whenever  possible.  And  he  and  Mrs.  Warren  did  little 
formal  entertaining  and  accepted  few  evening  invitations  that  would  inter 
fere  with  family  life.   James  Warren  describes  the  family's  Vernon  Street 
home  in  Oakland,  a  comfortable,  rambling  house  large  enough  to  hold  the 
myriad  of  family  activities,  from  the  Christmas  trees  (one  for  each  child) 
to  the  Shriner's  band's  visit  on  New  Year's  Day. 

Mr.  Warren's  graduate  education  at  Harvard  Business  School  was 
interrupted  by  World  War  II,  and  he  describes  his  service  in  the  army,  navy, 
and  the  marines  during  the  war.  After  the  war,  and  now  married,  he  relates, 
he  found  work  in  an  advertising  agency,  learned  everything  he  could  about 
the  industry,  and  gradually  worked  his  way  up  the  corporate  ladder.   The 
purchase  of  the  ranch  property  in  St.  Helena  and  growing  dissatisfaction  with 
corporate  advertising  led  Warren  ultimately  to  change  careers  to  real  estate 
sales  and  management  in  the  Napa  Valley. 

Mr.  Warren  offers  valuable  insight  and  vignettes  about  Earl  Warren  as 
a  grandfather,  to  the  James  Warrens'  three  sons,  and  to  the  thirteen  other 
Warren  grandchildren,  and  he  shares  his  recollections  of  the  family's  involve 
ment  in  Earl  Warren's  political  campaigns.  He  concludes  the  interview  with 
reminiscences  of  his  father  as  chief  justice. 

Miriam  Feingold  Stein 
Interviewer /Editor 

27  October  1977 
Regional  Oral  History  Office 
486  The  Bancroft  Library 
University  of  California 
at  Berkeley 

James  Warren 


[Date  of  Interview:   July  26,  1976] 

Stein:    Could  you  begin  by  telling  me  your  birthplace? 

Warren:   My  birthplace  is  the  funniest  thing  in  town.   I  don't  know  anybody 
else  who  ever  was  born  there,  but  I  was  born  in  Pismo  Beach, 
[California].   [Laughter.] 

Stein:   Pismo  Beach? 

Warren:   Pismo  Beach,  yes. 

Stein:   What  was  your  mother  doing  there? 

Warren:   That's  what  I've  wondered.   It  was  in  March,  you  know.   It  wasn't 

even  a  vacation — I  don't  know.   But  every  time  I  put  down  Pismo  Beach 
on  my  driver's  license,  or  when  people  say,  "Where  were  you  born?" 
and  I  say,  "Pismo  Beach,"  the  room  just  falls  into  laughter,  because 
everybody's  heard  about  it  but  nobody  believes  any thing's  there  but 
clams.   [Laughter.]   They  don't  believe  there  is  such  a  place  as 
Pismo  Beach. 

Stein:   At  least  there  was  a  hospital  in  Pismo  Beach. 

Warren:   I  don't  know  what's  happened  down  there.   I  guess  it's  built  up  a  lot, 
and  they've  got  all  kinds  of  restaurants  and  tourist  traps  and  all  the 
rest  of  it.  Pismo  Beach  has  always  been  to  me  like  Waukegan  was  to 
Jack  Benny,  I  think. 

Stein:   Let's  just  get  on  the  record  your  birth  date. 

Warren:   Twenty-sixth  of  March,  1919.   Wish  you  hadn't  reminded  me  of  that.   In 
fact,  half  the  family  is  born  in  March,  I  think.  My  mother  was  March  9 
and  Dad  was  March  19  and  our  son  is  March  18  and  I'm  the  26th  and 
Maggie's  mother  was  March  19,  same  as  my  dad,  and  Maggie's  aunt  is  the 
26th,  same  as  mine.   It's  just  been  a  phenomenon. 

James  Warren 

Stein:   It  sounds  like  you  could  have  one  big  family  birthday  party  in  March 
and  take  care  of  everybody. 

Warren:  We  could  actually,  and  we  could  stretch  a  pretty  good  gamut  too.  One 

of  my  aunts'  husband  just  had  his  ninetieth  birthday.  Of  course  we 

don't  know  how  old  Irene  is  either;  we  never  know  how  old  any  of  the 
women  in  our  family  are,  including  my  mother. 

To  this  day  I'm  not  sure.   I've  never  taken  the  trouble  to  look 
it  up  because  it  would  be  sort  of  an  affront.  Well,  maybe  not  an 
affront,  but  that's  something  she's  so — 

I  got  a  laugh  out  of  it  the  last  time  we  were  back  in  Washington. 
It  was  Dad's  eightieth  birthday,  and  John  Daly  and  Virginia  [Warren 
Daly]  put  the  party  on.   John  is  sort  of  infamous  for  doing  this,  but 
just  before  you're  going  to  sit  down  for  dinner  he  goes  up  to  every 
body  in  the  place  that  he  wants  to  do  this  to.  First  he  starts  with 
the  three  brothers — he  never  picks  on  the  girls — and  each  of  us  had 
to  stand  up  and  talk  for  two  minutes  on  what  it  meant,  what  it  was 
like  to  have  been  a  member  of  the  Warren  family.  There  are  all  these 
dignitaries  in  the  room.   The  place  was  just  loaded  with  everybody 
from  chief  justices  to  Toots  Shor. 

The  laugh  came  from  one  of  the  anecdotes  I  pretended  to  recall. 
My  mother,  I  said,  had  her  birthday  on  the  9th  of  March  and  here  it 
was  the  19th  of  March  and  she  can  not  figure  out — she's  walking  around 
mumbling  to  herself  because  she  can't  figure  out — how  Dad  got  to  be 
twice  as  old  as  she  is  when  their  birthdays  are  only  ten  days  apart. 
Everybody  in  that  room  picked  it  up,  too,  because  nobody's  ever  known 
how  old  she  is  and  I  don't  think  we'll  ever  find  out.   [Laughter.] 

Stein:   She's  done  what  every  woman  dreams  of  doing,  to  keep  her  age  a  secret. 
Warren:   Yes.   She's  got  everyone  faked  out. 

I  know  one  of  the  things  that  caught  John  Weaver  was  my  recollec 
tion  that  she  never  stops  moving;  she's  always  in  motion.   When  you  go 
in  to  have  breakfast  you  never  get  any  frozen  orange  juice  and  stuff 
like  that.   She  squeezes  them  all  by  hand.   It  takes  ten  times  as  long 
but  it's  always  fresh  and  she's  always  moving. 

When  we  were  back  there  at  one  of  the  functions — I  forget  which 
one  it  was — all  of  the  kids  were  back  there  and,  after  whatever  the 
festivities  were,  we'd  take  off  and  head  for  a  beer.   Just  a  big  bull 
session  or  whatever,  and  we'd  come  back  in  around  2:00  or  2:30  in  the 
morning.   Walk  in,  here's  the  light  on  in  the  bedroom  and  Mother  says, 
"Hi,  what  have  you  been  up  to?   Did  you  have  a  good  time?"  You  walk 
in  there  and  here  she  is,  watching  television  on  this  bicycle,  going 
up  and  down  like  this  at  two  o'clock  in  the  morning.   [Laughter.] 

James  Warren 

Stein:   She  had  an  exer cycle? 

Warren:  Yes,  she  was  on  an  exercycle  at  two  o'clock  in  the  morning  watching 
television  when  we  came  home. 

The  rest  of  the  time,  during  the  daytime,  she's  got  an  iron  going 
back  and  forth  on  the  ironing  board  and  she's  watching  all  of  the  soap 
operas,  As  the  World  Turns  and  all  those.  But  she's  moving  all  the 
time.   She's  not  sitting  there  watching,  she's  ironing  or  she's 
squeezing  or  she's  mixing.   She's  always  doing  two  things  at  once. 

Stein:   She's  still  doing  this? 

Warren:  Yes,  as  far  as  I  know.  Our  oldest  boy,  Jim,  is  an  attorney  in  San 

Francisco  now.  He  has  to  go  back  to  New  York  and  Washington  occasion 
ally  on  business  and  when  he  does,  every  chance  he  gets,  he  goes  and 
stays  with  his  grandmother.  He  says  now  he's  getting  to  the  point 
where  he's  afraid  to  open  the  door  because  there's  almost  always  three 
cakes.   There's  never  only  two.   It's  unthinkable  to  have  only  one, 
but  she's  got  three  cakes  baked  by  the  time  he  gets  back  there. 

He'll  come  home  after  dinner,  after  a  meeting,  come  home  around 
10:00  or  10:30  at  night.  He's  had  dinner  and  he's  all  ready  to  go  to 
bed  or  whatever,  but  he  wants  to  sit  around  and  chew  the  fat  with  his 
grandmother.   But  he  always  has  to  eat  a  cake  and  a  half  while  he's 
doing  it.   [Laughter.] 

Stein:   I've  heard  about  her  famous  chocolate  cakes. 

Warren:  Angel  food  and  devil's  food,  the  only  two  kinds  she  ever  makes.   I'm 
not  sure  what  the  record  is,  but  every  year  at  New  Year's,  when  the 
Shrine  football  game  was  played  at  Kezar  Stadium,  the  whole  Shrine  band 
would  show  up  at  twelve  or  fourteen  different  homes  in  the  Bay  Area. 
They  always  started  at  our  place  because  we  had  a  bunch  of  young  kids 
and  they  had  to  get  to  bed.   So  they'd  show  up  at  our  place  first,  and 
they  had  this  crazy  little  model-T  Ford  thing  that  they'd  run  around 
the  stadium  in  and  shoot  cannons  off  the  top  of. 

In  order  to  get  ready  for  it,  my  mother  would  make  just  platter 
after  platter  of  ham  and  cheese  on  rye  and  all  of  these  cakes.  And 
then  of  course  there  were  all  the  liquid  refreshments  that  the  Shrine 
band  always  expects  to  be  there.   [Laughter]  I  thought  she  made  eleven 
cakes  in  one  day  but  I  think  she  said  fourteen.  But  what's  the  differ 

They're  all  made  that  day;  none  of  them  are  made  the  day  before. 
They  have  to  be  made  the  same  day  that  they  get  there.   This  is  the 
right  way  to  do  it  and  the  only  way  she  will. 

James  Warren 



Military  Academy 

Stein:   Is  this  how  you  remember  her  when  you  were  a  young  child  growing  up? 
Warren:  Yes. 

Stein:   I'm  thinking  about  even  the  years  before  she  met  the  Chief  Justice, 
if  you  can  remember  back  that  far. 

Warren:   I  remember  the  flat  we  lived  in  with  my  grandma,  Nana,  Nana  Palmquist. 
It  was  one  of  these  old-fashioned  places  where  you  open  the  door — we 
lived  upstairs — and  there  was  a  handle,  a  mechanical  handle,  at  the 
top  of  the  stairs  that  you  could  pull  to  open  the  door  down  at  the 

Mother  was  working  then;  she  worked  for  Mrs.  Roller,  Roller's 
Dress  Shop.   I  remember  we  lived  right  across  from  the  Yellow  Cab 
garage  in  a  neighborhood  where  everybody  was  01  Olson  and  Lars  Larsen 
and  Sven  Svenson  and  Jon  Johnson.   I  know  one  of  the  guys  was  a  sheet 
metal  worker.   The  junk  man  would  come  by  with  a  horse,  and  pick  up 
newspapers.   I  remember  little  things  like  that.   I  used  to  walk  to 
work  with  my  mother  in  the  morning.   This  is  only  about  the  first  five 
years;  I  can't  go  back  too  much.   I  remember  burning  my  hand  on  a  wood 
stove  in  the  parlor  and  that  kind  of  thing. 

Stein:   What  did  she  do  with  you  during  the  day  when  she  was  working  at  the 
dress  shop? 

Warren:   I  just  stayed  with  my  grandmother.   She  was  home;  she  lived  there. 
This  was  pre-school  years.   I  guess  the  first  schooling  I  ever  had 
was  at  the  military  academy.   In  those  days  I  don't  think  they  even 
had  kindergarten.   I  was  five  years  old  when  I  went  to  the  military 
academy,  so  that  was  kindergarten  age  anyway. 

James  Warren 

Stein:   What  military  academy  was  this? 

Warren:   It  was  called  the  Del  Monte  Military  Academy  in  Pacific  Grove.   I  was 
there  from  the  time  I  was  five  until  I  was  ten  and  when  I  left  I  think 
at  that  tender  age  I  had  seniority  over  every  single  kid  in  the  entire 

Fantastic  educational  background  from  the  standpoint  of  getting 
into  things  that — I  ran  into  things  there  in  English,  particularly 
English , and  grammar  that  I  didn't  see  again  until  I  was  in  the  tenth 

Stein:   So  it  was  a  really  rigorous  education? 

Warren:   Really  a  rigorous  education.   Of  course  discipline,  military  discipline, 
was  what  it  was  all  about.   In  addition  to  bed  checks  and  all  that  sort 
of  stuff,  you  had  to  go  to  bed  at  a  certain  time,  get  up  at  a  certain 
time,  stand  in  line  for  meals.  Punishments  were  very,  very  specific. 
You'd  get  slapped  on  the  palm  of  your  hand  with  a  ruler  and  you'd  get 
whacked  on  the  behind  with  a  hairbrush.   In  fact,  there  were  a  couple 
of  instructors  who  used  razor  strops. 

Once  every  so  often — I  forget  whether  it's  once  a  week  or  once  a 
month — we  had  to  get  Argyrol  in  our  eyes  and  drink  Epsom  salts  and 
castor  oil.   I  mean  everybody,  the  entire  student  body,  would  line  up. 
This  was  part  of  the  health  program. 

Stein:   Was  this  a  nutritional  sort  of  thing? 

Warren:   Yes.   You'd  walk  through  the  line  and  you'd  get  a  spoonful — you  had  a 
choice:   a  spoonful  of  castor  oil  or  a  glass  of  Epsom  salts. 

Stein:   Quite  a  choice! 

Warren:   Oh,  it  was  just  brutal. 

Stein:   What  was  it  that  they  put  in  your  eyes? 

Warren:  Argyrol.*  This  is  a  health  thing,  too.  There  were  just  continual 
checkups  all  the  time.  The  academy  was  about  a  mile  from  town  and 
we'd  march  into  church  every  Sunday.  I  guess  the  big  thing  was  going 

*A  trade  name  for  silver  vitellin.   In  the  form  of  an  aqueous  solution,  it  was 
used  as  a  local  antiseptic  for  the  eyes,  ears,  nose,  and  throat. 

James  Warren 

Warren:   to  the  movie  in  town  on  Saturday  night.   I  remember  Douglas  Fairbanks, 
Jr.  was  playing  in  the  Black  Pirate,  and  for  some  infraction  of  the 
rules,  I  don't  even  remember  what  it  was — maybe  I  was  out  of  step  or 
broke  ranks  or  talked  after  taps  or  whatever  it  was — but  I  was  not 
allowed  to  go  to  the  movie.   I've  never  forgotten  that  punishment. 

Stein:   That  would  be  a  mighty  severe  punishment  for  a  young  boy. 

Warren:   Indeed. 

Stein:   Do  you  know  how  your  mother  came  to  send  you  to  a  military  academy? 

Warren:   Didn't  really  wonder  about  it  at  the  time.   But  looking  back  on  it,  I 
think  it  was  a  very  thoughtful  combination  of  things.   It  gave  me  a 
chance  to  get  a  good  start  in  schooling  and  it  gave  them  a  chance  to 
get  to  know  each  other. 

Stein:   So  you  were  sent  away  about  the  same  time  that  she  met  Mr.  Warren. 

Warren:  My  mother  tells  me  that  I  used  to  know  when  Earl  was  coming  over,  and 
I'd  say,  "When's  Earl  coming?"  I  think  I  used  to  climb  all  over  him, 
sit  in  his  lap,  but  I'm  really  going  more  on  what  she  remembers  than 
what  I  remember. 

But  the  only  thing  I  do  know  is  I  have  never  been  without  a  father. 
This  is  a  strange  thing  I  guess,  but  any  inference  or  reference  to 
step-father  always  seemed  to  me  something  that  would  offend  him.   It's 
never  crossed  my  mind,  except  in  later  years,  more  mature  years,  but 
I  never  knew  anything  about  my  dad.   As  I  understand  it  he  died  about 
the  time  I  was  born. 

Stein:    That's  what  Weaver  says,  in  his  book.* 

Warren:   I'm  not  sure.   I  think  maybe  before  I  was  three  weeks  old.   He  obvi 
ously  must  have  been  one  swell  guy  otherwise  my  mother  wouldn't  have 
married  him.   I  wouldn't  ever  want  to — I  don't  know,  what  am  I  trying 
to  say  here? — ignore,  disregard,  overlook  the  fact  that  he  must  have 
been  a  fine  man,  too.   In  fact,  I  remember  my  mother  once  saying  that 
the  worst  tragedy  in  her  life  turned  out  later  to  be  the  greatest  thing 
that  ever  happened  to  her. 

*John  D.  Weaver,  Warren:   The  Man,  the  Court,  the  Era  (Boston,  1967),  p.  40. 

James  Warren 





But  as  far  as  my  childhood  memories  are  concerned,  I've  always 
had  a  father,  and  I  never  called  him  anything  but  Dad.   I  don't 
remember  ever  calling  him  Earl.   He  certainly  made  that  completely 

In  later  years  I've  run  across  people  that,  when  we're  introduced, 
seem  to  get  some  subtle  sort  of  satisfaction  out  of  being  able  to  say, 
"Oh,  sure,  Earl  Warren's  family.  You're  his  step-son."  Or,  "I  knew 
your  step-father."  It  always  hits  me  as  going  out  of  the  way  for  some 
sort  of  a  dig  or  a  gig  of  some  kind.   I  wonder  why.   And  I  have  to 
confess  I  bridle  a  little  inside,  because  all  of  our  friends — and  they 
all  know,  of  course — have  never,  not  once  that  I  can  recall,  ever 
referred  to  other  than  "your  dad"  or  spoken  of  us  as  anything  but 
Jim's  dad  or  Earl's  son. 

I've  even  wondered  at  times  if  I  owed  my  own  kids  an  apology 
because  his  blood  is  not  in  their  veins.  But  that's  dumb,  of  course, 
really  ridiculous.  Yet  I  know  the  sensation.  And  when  some  people, 
on  the  other  hand,  when  we're  introduced  and  they  put  the  names 
together  say,  "Why,  sure,  I  can  certainly  see  the  resemblance,  you 
look  just  like  him" — I  know  they're  sincere  and  they  mean  it,  but  I'm 
always  glad  there's  not  one  of  the  other  type  around  who'd  like  to 
set  the  record  straight.   It  would  be  so  unkind  and  unfair  to  Dad. 
That's  why  I've  never  been  curious  or  probed  around  about — would  you 
believe  that  I  don't  think  I've  ever  even  seen  a  picture  of  Cleve 
Meyers.  But  Maggie  has  managed  to  learn  that  his  name  at  birth  was 
Cooper  and  when  his  father  died  he  acquired  the  name  Meyers  in  exactly 
the  same  way  that  I  became  a  Warren. 

Women  do  get  into  these  things  more,  don't  they. 

Sure  do.   But  men  have  their  ways,  too.   I  think  the  nicest  handling 
of  the  whole  matter  was  when  we  were  flying  back  to  Dad's  funeral 
and — in  some  way  I  can't  even  recall — the  topic  came  up  when  I  was 
sitting  with  one  of  my  sons.   I  only  remember  this  young  man  saying, 
"Pop,  he  was  your  real  father.   The  distinction  is  simply  between  a 
real  parent  and  a  natural  one." 

What  a  nice  way  to  put  it. 
about  it. 

Really  the  proper  way,  too,  when  you  think 

Mother  and  Dad  got  married  while  I  was  at  the  military  academy  and  I 
remember  the  first  time  the  roll  was  called  after  my  name  change. 
There  was  another  kid  in  the  same  squad  whose  name  was  Jackie  Ward, 
and  when  they  called  the  roll  and  they  got  to  him — Ward  comes  before 
Warren,  alphabetically — when  they  said  Ward,  I  yelled,  "Here."' 
[Laughter.]   I  was  so  anxious  to  answer  to  the  name. 

James  Warren 


Stein:   Did  you  come  home  for  visits? 

Warren:  Yes.   It  seems  to  me  we  could  come  home  once  a  month.   I  don't  remember 
that  I  did  come  home  once  a  month  all  the  time;  that  was  too  expensive. 
But  it  wasn't  all  that  necessary.  There  was  no  distance  between  us  at 
all.  We  were  very  much  in  touch.   They'd  come  down  to  the  academy  once 
in  a  while.   It  was  not  terribly  different  from  going  away  to  school 
except  for  the  nature  of  the  academy  itself. 

Transfer  to  the  Oakland  Public  Schools 

Stein:   Well  then,  what  happened  at  age  ten,  when  you  left  there? 

Warren:   I  think  that  was  simply  a  case  of  by  then  I'd  been  there  for  five  years, 
I'd  had  the  education.   In  fact,  I  think  the  academy  went  broke  the 
next  year.   I  don't  think  they  opened — I  was  ready  to  come  home,  for 
sure.   It's  just  like  having  gone  through  the  elementary  phase  of  your 
education,  and  now  you're  ready  to  come  home  and  go  to  a  different 

Stein:   What  grade  was  that? 

Warren:  Well,  when  I  came  home,  let's  see.   During  that  period  I  guess  they  were 
living  near  McChesney  High  School  in  Oakland.  What  was  it?  Not  Green 
field,  Greenview,  Green  something — Greenwood  Avenue,  that's  it — in  a 
duplex.   The  family  that  owned  the  place  lived  downstairs,  the  Otto 
family.   They  were  all  mechanics  and  very  German  and  a  very  fine  family, 
all  craftsmen  of  some  sort. 

I  guess  that's  when  Dad  bought  958  Larkspur.   I  remember  the  flat 
but  just  coming  back  and  forth  from  school.   Virginia  was  born  when  I 
was  down  at  the  academy  and  I  think  that  they  were  living  in  the  flat 
when  Virginia  was  born  and  then  they  found  this  house  at  958  Larkspur. 
[Pause]  Yes,  because  I  was  tenish  and  that  was  the  fifth  grade  at 
Crocker  Highlands,  and  so  I  started  school  in  the  fifth  grade. 

Stein:   So  you  went  to  Crocker  Highlands  School  in  Oakland. 
Warren:   Yes. 

James  Warren 

Sports  and  Injuries 

Stein:   When  did  the  family  move  to  88  Vernon? 

Warren:   I'm  going  to  say  it  was  1934,  because  1935  was  the  year  I  broke  my 

elbow,  and  everything  revolved  around  September  12,  1935.   [Laughter.] 
I  usually  add  "about  3:47  in  the  afternoon."   [Pause]   I  was  fifteen 
when  we  moved  into  88. 

Stein:   So  by  then  you  were  past  elementary  school. 

Warren:   Yes.   Then  I  was  a  sophomore  in  high  school.   I  was  a  junior  in  high 
school  when  I  broke  my  elbow. 

Stein:   What  high  school  was  this? 

Warren:   Oakland  High. 

Stein:   How  did  you  break  your  elbow? 

Warren:  We  were  scrimmaging  the  day  before  the  first  game  against  Piedmont  High 
and  we  had  not  run  any  punt  formation  practice.  We'd  only  been  prac 
ticing  for  two  weeks.  This  was  our  first  chance  to  pick  up  the  specialty 
performances.   I  was  an  end,  going  down  under  punts,  and  they  were 
switching  off  the  defending  backs  on  the  ends,  and  the  kickers  and 
everything  else — you  know,  just  a  routine  practice.   I  was  going  down 
under  this  punt  when  I  saw  this  guy  coming  at  me,  the  defending  half 
back,  and  I  cut  to  the  left  and  something  hit  me.   I  didn't  even  see  it 
happen.   I  spun  up  in  the  air  and  landed  on  my  arm  in  such  a  way  that 
it  bent  the  elbow  at  a  right  angle  back  the  wrong  way. 

It  turned  out  later  on,  when  we  reconstructed  the  thing,  that  the 
guy  that  was  coming  at  me  wasn't  coming  at  me  at  all.  He  was  just 
leaving  the  field,  taking  his  helmet  off.   But  I  cut  away  from  him  and 
ran  right  into  this  other  guy  who  really  spun  me  like  a  pinwheel. 

Stein:    I  read  somewhere  that  you  had  almost  lost  your  right  arm  playing  foot 
ball  at  Oakland  High.  Would  that  be  the  same  story,  or  is  that  a 
different  occasion? 

Warren:   It's  an  offshoot  of  the  same  story.   It  was  diagnosed  as  a  dislocation. 
They  took  me  down  to  the  family  doctor  instead  of  a  bone  specialist. 
There  was  no  reason  not  to,  I  guess.   He  put  a  fluroscope  on  it,  rather 
than  taking  an  x-ray,  and  it  looked  like  a  simple  dislocation  so  he  set 
the  thing.   I  just  remember  waking  up  at  two  o'clock  in  the  morning  and 
my  whole  arm  was  on  fire.   The  next  day,  and  from  that  time  on  until  it 
was  operated  on  in  March,  I  think,  these  two  fingers,  the  fourth  and 
little  fingers  of  the  right  hand,  were  paralyzed.   I  put  my  hand  on  a 
hot  stove  one  time  and  picked  it  up  and  there  were  blisters  and  I  didn't 
even  know  it.   All  the  muscles  between  the  thumb  and  forefinger  and  from 
my  wrist  to  the  elbow  went  down  to  nothing  but  bone. 

James  Warren 


Warren:       It  was  sort  of  a  gruesome  session  there  trying  to  get  that  arm 
straightened  out,  and  the  reason  it  wouldn't  was  because  at  the  time 
it  was  dislocated  it  was  also  chipped,  and  the  chip  slid  out  and  grew. 
This  big  bone  grew  in  there  and  that's  why  they  couldn't  straighten 
the  darn  thing  out.  When  the  doctor  finally  operated — we  finally  got 
to  Harold  Hitchcock  and  he  operated — he  took  the  bone  chip  out  and 
moved  the  nerve  to  the  outside.   But  my  arm  has  never  straightened  out 
since;  it  stops  right  there.   [Demonstrating.]  That's  as  far  as  it 

Stein:   Was  that  the  same  injury  as  the  elbow  business? 

Warren:   The  same  thing.   Yes.   I  think  I  read  somewhere  that  my  dad  said  that 
I  almost  lost  the  arm.   I  don't  know.   I  was  never  aware  of  it  if  that 
was  the  case. 

Stein:   I  gather  that  you  were  active  in  football. 

Warren:  Yes,  I  was.   Every  kid's  dream  then,  I  guess,  was  to  play  in  the 
East-West  Shrine  game. 

Stein:   Were  there  any  other  things  you  were  involved  in  in  school?  Politics 
or  drama  or  music? 

Warren:   I  used  to  dive  a  lot,  springboard  diving  at  the  Athens  Club.   There  was 
a  fellow  named  Morty  Macks,  who  was  quite  a  swimmer.   Our  coach  even 
talked  about  our  trying  out  for  the  '36  Olympics.   But  then  I  broke 
the  elbow  in  '35  and  whether  I — you  can  always  look  back  and  say  these 
things  when  you  never  had  to  perform,  you  know.   But  I  don't  know  that 
I  ever  would- have  continued  diving  to  that  extent. 

I  did  do  a  lot  of  exhibition  diving  at  the  Athens  Club,  and  one 
time  they  asked  me  if  I  would  compete  for  Oakland  High  in  a  diving  meet. 
I'd  never  even  been  on  the  team  until  they  asked.   I  guess  we  practiced 
for  a  couple  of  weeks  and  the  end  of  the  story,  of  course,  has  to  be 
that  I  won  it!   [Laughter.]   So  I  was  the  Oakland  Athletic  League  diving 
champion  for  one  year  there. 

James  Warren 



Stein:   Were  there  any  subjects  that  you  particularly  excelled  in  at  school, 
or  that  you  enjoyed? 

Warren:  Well  I  guess,  in  an  unlikely  sort  of  a  way,  English,  and  English 

grammar.   It  was  something  that  was  so  thoroughly  ingrained  in  us  at 
the  military  academy.   As  I  say,  I  didn't  run  into  sentence  structure 
and  grammar  and  that  sort  of  thing  again  until  I  was  in  the  tenth 
grade.   I'd  had  it  all  by  the  time  I  was  ten  years  old. 

I  guess  in  a  sense  I've  always  revered  and  admired  good  writers 
as  a  consequence  of  it.   Some  of  these  columnists  in  the  periodicals 
today  I  think  are  just  fantastically  eloquent  in  the  way  they  express 
things.   And  to  see  what  happens  today:   so  many  of  the  kids  can't 
even  spell,  they  can't  write,  they  can't  conjugate,  they  can't  do  any 
thing.   They  just  don't  even  teach  it  anymore. 

Same  with  Latin.   I  took  all  the  Latin  that  they  ever  gave  in 
high  school,  I  guess  for  no  other  reason  than  it  was  the  basis  for  all 
languages.   I  have  a  doctor  friend  now  who's  quite  a  researcher  and 
he  always  talks  about  the  usefulness  of  useless  knowledge.   Learning 
Latin  is  like  that. 

Stein:   Did  you  get  much  help  from  your  parents  in  schoolwork? 

Warren:  Oh  yes,  to  the  extent  that  I  asked  for  it.  Dad  was  always  very  willing 
to  discuss,  debate.  He  was  just  terrific  with  all  of  us,  any  time  we 
had  a  question  or  a  problem  or  something  to  discuss.   He  just  did  every 
thing  humanly  possible  to  help  every  one  of  the  kids,  who  are  all  unlike 
each  other,  to  develop  his  own  bent.   He  would  always,  in  this  area,  at 
the  dinner  table  or  any  time  we  were  all  together,  he  would  always  turn 
the  conversation  toward  any  one  of  us  and  get  something  going. 

Then,  invariably,  we'd  get  into  something  that  would  be  debatable 
or  controversial  and  he'd  take  the  other  side,  on  purpose,  to  make  you 
prove  your  point. 

Which  reminds  me,  Mimi — if  I  might  make  a  point  that  brings  this 
right  up  to  date — are  you  aware,  from  any  of  your  research  or  inter 
views  about  how  Dad  went  to  the  lengths  he  did  to  keep  Justice  Harlan 
active  on  the  bench  because  of  this  opposite  viewpoint  business? 

Stein:   Gee,  I'm  not  sure.   So,  please  go  on. 

Warren:  Well,  Justice  Harlan's  eyesight  became  quite  impaired  as  the  years  went 
on.  Dad  told  us  how  he  (Harlan)  literally  had  to  use  a  jeweler's  eye 
glass  to  do  some  of  his  reading  and  one  day  he  came  to  Dad  and  actually 
wondered  if  he  shouldn't  resign  because  he  felt  he  was  slowing  down  the 
case  load  of  the  Court.   And  Dad  told  us  he  said,  "No,  John,  your 

James  Warren 







contribution  from  the  opposite  point  of  view  is  too  valuable.   The 
Court  needs  you  too  much" — or  whatever  words,  you  know.   But  what  Dad 
did  was  to  hire  an  extra  secretary — out  of  his  own  pocket — to  provide 
Justice  Harlan  with  the  help  he  needed  to  keep  up  with  his  work.  But 
Harlan  never  knew  how  the  secretary  was  provided.'  The  point  being: 
I'm  quite  sure  I've  read  that  of  all  the  decisions  handed  down  while 
the  two  were  on  the  Bench  together,  Harlan — more  consistently  than  any 
other  Justice — voted  on  the  opposite  side  from  Warren.   That,  to  me, 
speaks  a  volume  about  the  kind  of  man  we're  talking  about. 

It  does,  indeed.   And  I'm  impressed  that  you  can  take  it  back  so 
readily  to  when  you  were  kids  at  the  dinner  table. 

Oh,  yes.   Dad  never  missed  a  chance  to  provoke  a  debate.   He  could 
really  cut  you  to  ribbons  in  a  very  kind  way.  You'd  realize  later 
what  was  going  on,  but  if  you  didn't  know  what  you  were  talking  about, 
then  don't  talk  about  it,  or  if  you  can't  say  what  you  mean  you  don't 
know  what  you  mean. 

I  can't  say  that  he  would  sit  down  and  actually  help  you  work  out 
an  arithmetic  problem  or  something  that  obvious.   I  mean,  there  are 
sources  you  can  go  to  yourself  to  find  how  to  multiply  or  divide.  But 
he  was  always  intensely  interested  in  any  of  the  activities  that  any 
of  the  kids  got  into. 

Earl  [Jr.]  became,  I  guess,  almost  a  professional  taxidermist;  he 
was  good  at  it.   I  mean,  he  would  stuff  birds  and  animals  himself. 
Earl  and  Bob  became  very  interested  in  hunting  and  fishing  from  Dad, 
who  loved  it.   I  guess  I  was  just  an  age  beyond,  by  the  time  they  got 
into  all  that.   In  fact,  I  never  went  duck  shooting  until  I  was  married. 
But  they  grew  up  hunting  and  fishing.  That's  strictly  an  age  difference 
I  guess. 

Were  your  folks  at  all  involved  in  the  school? 
anything  like  that? 

Was  there  a  PTA  or 

Yes.   I  can  remember  their  being  at  PTA  meetings.   I  can't  remember 
that  they  were  frequent  or  that  big  a  thing,  but  if  there  was  ever  an 
occasion  for  parents'  night  or  PTA  or  whatever — I  know  when  I  went  into 
the  Boy  Scouts,  Dad  would  always  come  to  whatever  functions  there  were. 
But,  once  you  started  something  you  were  in  it  until  you  went  as  far  as 
it  was  possible  to  go.   I  didn't  dare  quit  until  I  became  an  Eagle  Scout, 
I  think  Earl  and  Bob  are  too,  but  I'm  not  sure.   I'm  not  sure.   Once 
you  start  something  you  never  quit,  no  matter  what. 

It  happened  with  ROTC.   Here,  after  all  of  this  military  academy 
stuff,  there  was  a  requirement  for  ROTC  in  high  school  in  our  day. 
You  had  to  take  a  certain  amount  of  it,  and  I  think  because  of  my 



James  Warren 


military  training  I  was  not  required  to  take  as  much  as  the  other  guys. 
But  at  the  end  of  six  months  I'd  had  it,  I  wanted  out.   You  know,  I 
was  bored  with  it,  but  no  way.  You're  in  it,  you're  in  it  for  at 
least  a  year.  You  can't  quit. 

That  was  your  father  saying  that  to  you,  that  you've  got  to  see  every 
thing  through? 

Warren:  Yes,  oh  yes. 

Summertime  and  Household  Chores 

Stein:   What  did  you  do  during  the  summers  in  school,  in  high  school?  Did  you 
have  summer  jobs? 

Warren:  Yes.   I  had  the  usual  spate  of  paper  routes,  and  when  we  lived  at  88 
Vernon,  that  piece  of  property  was  a  project.   I  mean,  it  was  big 
enough,  overgrown,  and  with  enough  lawn  and  enough  things  to  take  care 
of.   There  was  plenty  of  work  just  on  weekends  to  do.  We  all  had 
chores.  We  all  had  to  cut  the  lawns  and  do  certain  specific  things. 

I  remember  one  time,  just  after  we  bought  the  place,  Dad  got  ahold 
of  a  flagpole  that  somebody  gave  him,  real  old,  beat  up,  warped,  cracked, 
chipped,  checked  and  everything  else.   I  remember  the  hours  I  spent  on 
that  thing,  taking  the  paint  off  and  oiling  it  and  getting  it  back  to 
where  it  was  supple  and  alive  again.  Then  he  thought  it  would  be  nice 
to  have  the  flagpole  out  under  these  trees.   It  wasn't  a  case  of  just 
digging  a  hole  and  putting  it  in.   I  dug  a  good  hole  and  I  lined  it 
with  redwood  and  I  put  cement  on  the  bottom.   When  Dad  came  home  that 
night  he  looked  at  it  and  said,  "Gee,  it  would  be  just  great  if  it 
could  just  be  maybe  fifteen  or  eighteen  inches  over  this  way  so  it 
wouldn't  be  in  the  way  of  that  tree."   [Laughter.]   I  had  to  take  the 
whole  thing  out  and  move  it. 

Stein:   You  undid  the  whole  thing? 

Warren:   I  had  to  undo  the  whole  thing  and  put  in  a  whole  new  hole  because  it 

was  a  few  inches  off.  Well,  this  is  fine.   It  was  not  an  unreasonable 

Stein:    Then  on  holidays  would  he  run  a  flag  up  there? 

James  Warren 


Warren:  Oh  yes.  We  had  a  flag  every  event,  every  holiday. 

I  guess  one  of  the  most  telling  characteristics  of  the  man  was 
that — I  don't  think  any  one  of  us  ever  participated  in  anything  that 
he  wasn't  there,  and  we  all  participated  in  something.  Honey  Bear  got 
into  horses  and  jumping,  and  so  did  Bob  for  a  while,  and  through  all 
of  those  years  at  the  Athens  Club  and  the  exhibition  meets,  he  always 
came  to  watch  me  dive.   When  each  of  us  got  into  high  school,  he  came 
to  every  football  game  or  event  that  he  possibly  could.   These  were 
all  Friday  afternoon  games  in  those  days,  and  if  he  could  get  off 
early  in  the  afternoon  he  would  always  be  there.   I've  never  known  a 
man  who  was  so  dedicated  to  what  his  kids  were  doing.  He  was  always 
there.  No  matter  where  you  were  you  could  look  over  and  he  was  sitting 

Stein:   An  ideal  father. 

Warren:  Yes.  He  really  was.  A  very  uncommon  guy. 

James  Warren 




Stein:   To  finish  off  your  education,  after  high  school  where  did  you  go? 

Warren:  Went  to  Cal,  and  that  was  in  the  days  when  Cal  only  started  in  the 
fall  and  I  had  graduated  from  high  school  in  December.   I  went  to 
business  school  for  six  months  and  learned  typing  and  shorthand  and 
all  the  stuff  that  I  thought  would  be  helpful  in  taking  notes  and 
writing  them  up  by  the  time  I  got  to  Berkeley. 

When  I  entered  Cal  I  was  one  scared  kid.   To  get  into  college  and 
stay  in  college  was  to  me,  I  guess,  the  greatest,  one  of  the  toughest 
things  that  anybody  was  ever  expected  to  do. 

Stein:   After  all  you  had  learned  by  that  time,  at  the  military  academy  and 
everything,  you  were  still  worried? 

Warren:   Oh  yes!   I  think  I  got  one  C  in  high  school.   And  I'm  not  sure  that 
that  wasn't  in  one  of  those  upper  division  Latin  courses.   They  had 
the  course  at  seven  o'clock  in  the  morning  before  school  started.   I'm 
not  sure  what  course  it  was,  but  I -got  one  C  and  I  don't  think  there 
was  ever  a  time  from  my  sophomore  year  on  that  I  wasn't  on  the  honor 
roll.   I  mean,  this  was  expected,  in  a  way. 

I've  got  to  be  careful  about  the  emphasis  there  because  the  whole 
point  was  that  C  was  average.   Anybody  could  get  a  C.   And  nobody  ever 
settles  for  average.   So  as  long  as  you  got  a  B  average,  okay.  Nobody 
expected  you  to  get  all  A's  or  demanded  it.   In  fact,  it  was  a  lot 
better  to  have  a  B  average  and  to  participate  in  a  lot  of  other  acti 
vities  than  it  was  to  get  all  A's  and  not  participate  in  anything  else. 
He  was  really  for  the  well-rounded  individual. 

James  Warren 


Warren:       So  he  encouraged  all  the  activities  that  we  could  possibly  get 
into  and  certainly  sports  was  one  of  those  at  the  top  of  the  list. 
This  carried  through  the  rest  of  his  life.   I  have  read  some  of  his 
statements — and  I  know  we've  heard  him  say — that  when  he  picks  up  the 
morning  newspaper  he  always  starts  with  the  sports  page  because  the 
sports  page  is  a  record  of  man's  accomplishments  and  the  front  page 
is  a  record  of  man's  failures.   All  the  problems  are  on  the  front  page 
but  all  of  the  good  things  that  people  do  are  on  the  sports  page. 

Toots  Shor,  when  he  was  asked  to  speak  at  that  eightieth  birthday 
party,  called  him  the  best  informed  public  official  on  sports  of  any 
man  he  had  ever  known  in  his  life.   He  really  followed  it;  it  didn't 
make  any  difference  whether  it  was  football,  baseball,  basketball — 
anything  that  was  going  on.   He  was  an  avid  sports  fan. 

Stein:   It's  remarkable  that  he  was  able  to  keep  all  that  in  his  head  along 
with  all  the  workload  that  he  was  carrying. 

Warren:   I  remember  when — we're  jumping  back  and  forth  here,  if  it  doesn't  make 
any  difference — years  later,  when  Dad  went  back  to  Washington,  the 
first  time  he  came  out  to  California  as  Chief  Justice,  he  came  up  to 
the  office.   I  met  him  in  the  lobby  of  the  building  (it  was  the  Russ 
Building,  I  remember  that.)   We  got  in  the  elevator  and  he  reached 
into  his  wallet  and  pulled  out  a  clipping  from  the  green  sheet  and 
said,  "I  just  clipped  out  the  starting  line-up  for  the  Bears  this 
coming  fall.  What  do  you  know  about  these  fellows?"  That's  the  first 
time  I'd  seen  him  in  months — since  he'd  gone  back  to  Washington — and 
here  we  are  going  up  in  the  elevator,  and  he  was  directing  the  conver 
sation  to  me  again.   What  I  was  interested  in  he  wanted  to  talk  about. 

Stein:    Getting  back  to  Cal,  what  did  you  end  up  majoring  in? 

[Telephone  interruption] 
Stein:   We  stopped  just  as  you  were  about  to  tell  me  what  you  majored  in  at  Cal, 

Warren:  Well,  I  had  always  copied  the  funny  papers  when  I  was  a  kid  and  I 

thought  I  wanted  to  be  an  artist.   So  I  entered  the  university  as  an 
art  major,  very  sheepishly,  and  I  was  very  embarrassed  about  it.   But 
as  far  as  anything  else,  economics  or  math  or  physics,  I  knew  certainly 
that  they  were  not  going  to  be  my  field.  After  two  years  I  had  an 
equal  number  of  units  in  art,  philosophy  and  public  speaking,  plus  all 
the  required  courses  that  you've  got  to  take.   Going  into  my  junior 
year  I  was  determined  I  was  not  going  to  be  a  general  curriculum  major, 
so  between  the  three  I  decided  to  become  a  philosophy  major  and  I  guess 
I  took  every  philosophy  course  I  could  cram  in  there  to  fulfill  the 
requirements.   So  I  majored  in  philosophy. 

Stein:   Did  you  get  any  direction  at  all  from  your  parents  about  what  you  would 
maj  or  in? 

James  Warren 





No,  I  think  Dad  thought  that  was  good,  because  I  don't  think  there's 
any  question — he  certainly  implanted  in  our  minds  early  in  the  game 
that  really  the  university  is  a  mental  gymnasium.   It  doesn't  really 
make  much  difference,  that  much  difference,  what  you  major  in  unless 
you're  going  to  be  a  specialist  in  one  of  the  sciences  or  medicine  or 
whatever.   Going  to  college  is  not  necessarily  going  to  help  you  get 
a  good  job  in  your  major.  So  as  long  as  you  get  into  something  that 
tests  you  and  that  tries  you  and  gives  you  a  good  mental  workout — and 
philosophy  certainly  would  qualify  in  that  category. 

What  did  you  see  yourself  preparing  for? 

Did  you  have  a  career  in 

I  still  thought  I  wanted  to  be  an  artist.   In  fact,  when  I  got  out  of 
the  Marine  Corps  I  sent  some  cartoons  into  the  New  Yorker,  and  I  guess 
the  best  thing  that  can  be  said  about  them  is  that  I  got  them  back. 
Most  people  told  me  that  when  you  send  things  in  to  the  New  Yorker  you 
never  see  them  again;  they  just  take  them  and  toss  them  aside.   But  at 
least  I  got  them  back  with  a  printed,  not  a  typed,  a  printed  notice, 
"We  acknowledge  receipt  of  your  work,  thanks  very  much"  [laughter]  and 
so  forth.   "Returning  it  with  our  best  wishes,"  type  of  thing.   I  guess 
all  of  these  instincts  and  intuitions  came  together  in  a  notion  that 
the  closest  thing  to  being  in  a  creative  field  was  to  work  for  an 
advertising  agency.   So  that's  where  I  started. 

Organizations  and  Athletics 

Stein:   I  see.  Just  to  finish  up  at  Cal,  my  notes  list  a  number  of  organiza 
tions  you  were  active  in  on  campus . 

[Tape  1,  side  2] 

Stein:   My  notes  indicate  that  you  were  a  member  of  the  Golden  Bear? 

Warren:  Yes. 

Stein:   What  was  that? 

Warren:   Cal  has  a  number  of  different  societies:  the  junior  year  was  Winged 
Helmet  and  the  Order  of  the  Golden  Bear — for  senior  men — are  the  two 
honor  societies  for  upper  classmen. 

Stein:   Then  they're  honor  societies? 

James  Warren 


Warren:  Yes.  In  that  category,  of  course,  Skull  and  Keys,  among  the  fraterni 
ties,  was  the  big  aspiration.  Then  it  turned  out  that  there  were  some 
others  that  I  had  heard  about  but  didn't  know  about  until  I  got  there. 
Anyway,  I  knew  that  my  dad  had  been  in  Skull  and  Keys. 

Stein:   Was  that  also  strictly  an  honor  society? 

Warren:   Not  an  academic  organization.   It  was  really  a  beer  drinking  society 

among  fraternities.   It's  an  honor  society  in  the  sense  that  the  houses 
with  the  most  guys  in  Skull  and  Keys  were  the  strongest  on  the  campus 
that  year.  Mostly  made  up  of  athletes  and  team  managers. 

But  anyway,  I  think  when  I  graduated  from  college  I  had  been  in 
every  single  organization  that  my  dad  had  ever  been  in,  and  one  more, 
which  was  Golden  Bear.  He  was  taken  in  as  an  honorary  member  of  Golden 
Bear  when  I  was  the  president  of  Golden  Bear.   This  was  just  great. 
In  fact — this  is  nice,  because  I  remember  Dean  [Monroe  E.]  Deutsch, 
the  provost — I  had  to  make  the  welcoming  speech  and  introductions  as 
president  of  the  organization.  Then  Dr.  Deutsch  introduced  Earl  Warren 
as  the  father  of  Jim  Warren,  [laughter]  which  is  very  nice.  He  was  a 
really  thoughtful  guy. 

Stein:   Yes.   That  was  a  gracious  thing  to  do. 

Warren:   Well,  it  was  a  first  time  ever — and  I  really  thanked  Dr.  Deutsch.   But 
the  most  significant  thing  about  making  all  the  societies  that  Dad  had 
been  in — actually,  it  was  a  big  deal  for  the  house  to  have  as  many  guys 
in  your  fraternity  make  as  many  of  these  organizations  as  possible — 
but  the  biggest — well,  thrill,  I  guess  you'd  say,  came  a  college  gener 
ation  later  when  our  middle  son,  Jeff,  was  taken  into  another  outfit 
I  can't  really  talk  about  much.   Really  hush  hush,  you  know.   But  it's 
sort  of  the  ultimate,  you  might  say.   And  Dad  had  been  in  it.   And 
when  Jeff  was  taken  in  a  generation  later  it  just — well,  Jeff  called 
me  at  two  in  the  morning  and  I  just  about  yowled  and  said,  "My  god, 
have  you  called  Papa  Warren?"  and  Jeff  said,  "Yep,  I  just  hung  up." 
He'd  already  phoned  him  in  Washington,  regardless  of  the  hour  of  the 
night.   But  the  thing  that  makes  it  so  big  for  all  of  us  is  that  it's 
the  first  time  in  the  history  of  the  University  that  there  have  been 
three  generations  of  the  same  family  in  there.   In  fact,  just  before 
Dad  died — which  was  a  Tuesday  and  this  was  the  Thursday  before — Jeff 
and  I  were  in  the  hospital  room  with  him  and  the  three  of  us  had  a 
private  little  meeting  all  our  own. 

Stein:    Sounds  quite  profound. 

Warren:   It  was. 

Stein:   I  can't  press  you  for  a  little  more  detail? 

James  Warren 


Warren:   Sorry,  Mimi,  I  really  can't  say  too  much.   John  Weaver's  book  mentions 
drinking  beer  at  Pop  Kessler's — which  is  about  as  far  as  I  can  go. 
But  I  did  feel  it  ought  to  be  mentioned  in  some  way  because  it's  such 
a  big  factor — almost  a  milestone,  maybe — in  any  story  about  Earl 
Warren's  family. 

Stein:   Well,  thanks  for  this  much.   Maybe  somebody  knows  something  I  don't 

know,  but  I  think  I  see  now  why  my  notes  include  a  heading  on  Organi 
zations  and  Athletics . 

Warren:   Oh  boy,  that  gets  into  the  big-one-that-got-away  department.  The  only 
organization  I  would  have  given  almost  anything  to  make — but  it  just 
didn't  work  out — was  the  Big  C  society — you  know,  lettering  in  a  major 
sport  at  Cal.  Dad  was  in  Big  C,  but  as  an  honorary  member.  He  was 
taken  in  later — maybe  as  early  as  DA,  maybe  as  late  as  governor,  I 
just  don't  recall.   I  lettered  in  freshman  basketball  and  three  years 
running  in  rugby  and  a  rambler — that's  junior  varsity — letter  in  foot 
ball  in  my  junior  year.  But  rugby  fouled  up  spring  practice  in  my 
senior  year,  so  that  crack  at  a  big  C  in  football  my  last  year  just 
didn't  pan  out. 

Stein:   Was  Jeff  in  Big  C,  too? 

Warren:   Really  should  have  been.   The  kid's  a  great  athlete — had  a  football 
scholarship  and  all,  but  injuries  and  mono  kept  cutting  him  down  til 
he  finally  decided  it  was  time,  as  he  put  it,  to  "hang  'em  up." 
That's  jock  talk  for  "cleats".   [Laughter.]   So,  like  father  like  son, 
he  ended  up  playing  rugby,  too. 

Stein:   Where  there's  a  will  there's  a  way,  right?  And,  also,  don't  quit. 

Warren:   You  got  it.   All  through  college  I  played — when  my  elbow  got  well 

enough  so  that  I  could  do  things  with  it — I  went  out  for  basketball 
as  a  freshman.   I  couldn't  go  out  for  contact  sports  for  a  while, 
until  I  tested  the  elbow  out.   So  I  went  out  for  basketball,  and  the 
coach  cleared  the  bench  often  enough  that  I  made  my  freshman  numeral 
in  basketball.   [Laughter.] 

Then  I  learned  about  rugby,  which  I'd  heard  about,  but  I'd  never 
seen  or  played.   So  I  tried  out  for  rugby.   I  had  a  metal  cup  on  an 
elastic  brace  that  was  to  protect  the  elbow  here.  So  I  ended  up 
playing  three  years  of  rugby.  Again,  every  game  that  he  could  make, 
Dad  was  always  there.  And  of  course  he'd  come  to  all  the  annual  func 
tions  of  Skull  and  Keys  or  the  rugby  club  or  whatever  organization 
would  have  them.   He  was  always  very  much  around. 

Stein:   Were  you  in  a  fraternity? 

James  Warren 


Warren:  Yes.   I  was  a  Chi  Phi,  [spells  it]  which  is  the  oldest  national 

fraternity  in  history.   I  guess  its  main  strength  is  in  the  south. 

Stein:   Was  your  father  in  a  fraternity? 

Warren:  He  was  a  Sigma  Phi,  which  was  called  La  Junta  at  the  time  [spells  it] . 
The  La  Junta  Club  was  a  local  when  he  was  at  Berkeley.   Then  they  were 
taken  over  by  the  Sigma  Phi's.   They  were  an  old  one,  too.   I  think 
they  only  had  ten  chapters  across  the  country,  but  wherever  they  were 
they  were  very  strong. 

One  thing — this  is  probably  very,  very  tough  on  a  father,  because 
you  don't  know  you're  doing  it  at  the  time — but  the  one  thing  I  was 
never  going  to  do  was  to  be  a  member  of  his  fraternity  and  I  was  never 
going  to  go  into  law.   I  was  never  going  to  do  anything  that  would 
create  any  impression  of  riding  on  his  coattails. 

Stein:    I  was  going  to  ask  you  what  your  feelings  were  about  law. 

Warren:   I  guess  that  I  never  really  gave  it  a  fair  chance  because  I  eliminated 
it  so  early  in  the  game. 

Stein:   Was  that  strictly  your  own  feeling,  or  was  that  something  that  he  felt 
also,  that  he  wanted  you  to  make  your  own  mark? 

Warren:   Oh,  he  was  great  about  it.   He  never  pressed,  pushed;  he  understood. 
We  never  had  any  talks  about  it.   I  think  he  probably  just  intuited 
it.  He  never  put  any  pressure  on,  never  made  anything  uncomfortable, 
just  whatever  any  of  us  wanted  to  get  into  he  just  encouraged  no  matter 
what  direction  it  went.   There  aren't  many  like  him. 

Stein:   Do  your  own  thing,  in  other  words. 

Warren:  Well,  yeah — in  a  sense.  But  not  just  any  dumb  thing.   There  had  to  be 
some  what — some  merit,  maybe — or  certainly  some  discipline.  Be  your 
own  man,  but  not  to  the  extent  that  you  slacked  off  or  chose  something 
easy  or  ran  away  from  a  challenge.   Slacker — yes,  I  remember  slacker 
as  a  big  word  when  I  was  a  kid.   And  "a  lick  and  a  promise"  was  what 
we'd  call  today  a  "no  no".   Give,  give,  give — all  you've  got — to  what 
ever  it  is  that  you  want  to  be.  And  certainly,  for  sure,  no  distinction 
between  pursuits  in  life,  so  long  as  they're  honest  work.  I  remember 
his  reverence — yeah,  I'd  stick  with  reverence — for  a  master  mechanic 
as  compared,  say,  with  a  Phi  Beta  Kappa.   He  used  to  talk  a  lot  about 
the  fact  that  a  boy  who  can't  be  comfortable  with  books  but  who  can  do 
great  things  with  his  hands  should  never  be  put  in  a  class  that  should 
make  him  feel  inferior.  We  need  both,  he'd  say,  and  then  he'd  look  at 
his  own  hands  and  say,  "I  can't  even  drive  a  nail  or  draw  a  picture  of 
a  straight  line." 

James  Warren 


Warren:       Even — gee,  I'm  talking  too  much,  maybe,  but  you  can  cut  out  what 
you  don't  want — he  even  applied  this  philosophy  to  his  kids  when  we 
got  old  enough  to  drink.   "If  you  decide  to,"  he'd  say,  "and  I  went  to 
college,  myself,  I  only  hope  you  won't  do  it  badly.   I'd  rather  see  a 
man  drink  everybody  in  the  room  under  the  table  and  not  show  it  than 
I  would  an  arm-waver.   So,  if  you  do,  handle  it.  Don't  be  a  jackass 
or  act  like  a  hot  shot." 

Stein:   Man  talk,  I  guess,  is  what  you're  saying. 

Warren:   Of  the  best  order.   And  Maggie  and  I  have  always  hoped  that  he  saw  his 
influence  rub  off  on  our  kids.  Because  they're  as  unlike  as  his 
approach  would  allow  for.   Jim's  an  attorney  in  San  Francisco,  Jeff's 
a  free  lance  writer  in  New  York  and  Jocko  is  a  location  manager  with 
Universal  Studios  in  Hollywood.   And  each  time  any  of  them  took  a  long 
step  in  the  right  direction — got  a  job,  passed  an  exam,  got  a  promotion 
or  whatever — we'd  always  hear  that  famous  "Well,  well,  well.  .  .isn't 
that  fine". 

We  do  know,  in  fact — Maggie  and  I — how  pleased  he  was  at  their 
various  stages  of  development.   That  all  three  of  them  made  it  into 
Cal  made  him  one  proud  Papa  Warren,  I  can  tell  you.   And  earlier — I 
think  it  was  after  Jimmy's  sophomore  year  in  high  school — the  kid  got 
himself  a  summer  job  on  a  Standard  Oil  tanker  and  worked,  mostly  below 
decks,  at  that,  with — well,  you  can  imagine  what  a  crew  of  professional 
seamen  would  be  like.   I  know  his  grandmother,  "Beeb",  (that's  Maggie's 
mother)  used  to  imagine! 

Stein:   Beeb? 

Warren:  Yeah.   [Laughter]  Beeb.   She  used  to  call  him  "Sweetie  Pie"  when  he 
was  a  baby — before  he  was  old  enough  to  talk.   And  it  was  one  of  the 
first  words  he  ever  tried  to  say,  and  Sweetie  Pie  came  out  Bee  Bye — 
which  later  got  shortened  to  Beeb.   There  was  a  pair,  by  the  way — 
Earl  and  Beeb — he  called  her  that  a  lot,  too.   But  these  two  bulwarks 
of  the  old  school,  these — well,  examples  of  a  generation  of — what — 
propriety,  good  dealings,  hang  in  there  boys — you  know,  the  good  old 
tried  and  trues.   The  world  may  never  see  another  generation  like 
them,  but  Maggie  and  I  sure  lucked  out  and  so  did  our  boys  to  have 
known  their  influence.   And  it  was  there,  too.   All  the  grandparents — 
and  may  I  never  fail  to  include  Mama  Warren,  too — she  had  ways  that  so 
complemented  everything  Papa  Warren  did.   But  these  grandparents  were 
on  our  kids  like  a  blanket — all  through  their  lives,  really.   The 
personal  interest  was  remarkable,  actually — really  a  factor  in  the 
kids '  growing  up . 

But  Jimmy's  independence  and  self-assurance  sure  began  to  blossom 
after  that  sea-farin'  adventure  [laughter]  in  the  big  wide  world.  And 
then,  when  he  graduated  from  the  university  and  he  took  off — alone 

James  Warren 


Warren:   again — to  make  his  way  through  Europe — Golly,  the  jobs  he  took  on  in 
college  to  scrape  up  the  money  including  [laughter]  he  even  emptied 
bed  pans  in  a  hospital.   But  he  took  off  with  not  much  more  than  a 
Eurail  pass  and  a  brave  smile  and  I  can  remember  Papa  Warren  saying, 
"Well,  well,  well — isn't  that  something.   I  know  I'd  never  have  had 
the  gumption  to  do  a  thing  like  that  when  I  was  Jimmy's  age." 

And  then  to  have  the  eldest  grandson  become  the  first  lawyer — 
what  a  way  for  him  to  see  the  next  generation  start  off,  huh.   Cast 
bread  upon  the  waters  and — how  does  it  go — it  always  comes  back  to 
you  or  something.  You  can  see  how  often  I  really  did  cut  Sunday 
school.   [Laughter.] 

Stein:   Sounds  like  you  got  away  with  it,  though.  Heaven  has  still  been  pretty 
good  to  you,  I'd  say.  Now,  let's  see,  we've  already  got  some  good 
mileage  on  Jeff — how  about  number  three  son.   I  love  that  name  "Jocko". 

Warren:   It  certainly  fit  him  growing  up.   It's  "John",  of  course,  but  this  guy 
has  been  a  variation  or  a  take-off  on  a  lot  of  things  ever  since  he 
entered  the  scene.  Hey,  I  just  made  sort  of  a  funny  without  realizing 
it  because  Jocko  is  in  show  biz.   But  Jocko  entered  a  world  in  turmoil 
— I  think  I  mentioned  it  was  June  25th,  the  very  day  the  Korean  War 
broke  out — and  things  have  never  been  dull  since.   [Laughter.] 

He  started  out  as  an  appendicitis  operation  but,  of  course,  we 
didn't  know  that  until  it  was  all  over.   The  doctor  had  to  take  him 
about  three  weeks  early  after  an  experience  Maggie  had  on  that  Sunday 
afternoon  at  Bolinas  Beach.  Whoops — let's  get  out  of  that  one  in  a 
hurry.   [Laughter.]  But,  really,  it  was  a  wild  one.  We  thought  the 
baby  was  coming  right  there.  That  tortuous  walk  across  the  sand — 
then  a  truly  god-awful  drive  over  that  long,  windy  road  to  Kentfield — 
then  in  an  ambulance  across  both  bridges  to  Oakland  and  Dr.  Sherrick 
waiting  for  us  and  operating  the  elevator  himself.   And  that's  what 
it  turned  out  to  be — a  red  hot  appendix.   Someday  I'll  let  Maggie 
tell  you  the  whole  story. 

Stein:   I  have  a  feeling  I've  heard  enough  already. 

Warren:  Well,  when  I  say  John  is  a  spin-off — or  take-off  or  whatever  I  meant — 
it's  a  compliment,  actually.   He  probably  bears  the  least  likely  sem 
blance  of  his  grandfather's — oh,  style,  I  guess  you'd  call  it — of  the 
three  boys.   But  he  has  all  the  talents  and  aptitudes  that  are  just 
not  a  natural  part  of  Papa  Warren's  make-up — like  being — well,  Jocko 
is  an  accomplished  artist — he  did  some  pen  and  ink  drawings  of  the 
Napa  Valley  wineries  when  he  was  in  high  school  here  that  were  so  good 
he  had  them  made  into  stationery  and  sold  them  through  local  shops — 
and  he  had  emerged,  some  years  earlier,  from  his  bedroom  with  this 
Charlie  McCarthy  dummy  and  proceeded  to  demonstrate  this  incredible 
ability  to  throw  his  voice  that  he'd  been  practicing  secretly  without 

James  Warren 


Warren:   any  of  us  knowing.  He  worked  up  his  own  routine — his  own  scripts 
and  all — and  he'd  put  on  this  show  for  the  family  at  Christmas  or 
whenever  and  Papa  Warren  thought  he  was  the  greatest  thing  since 
the  wheel.   [Laughter.] 

Then — and  this  really  broke  the  pattern — John  got  into  Cal — he 
made  it  into  the  university  all  right — but  on  the  strength  of  his  art 
work  and  a  scholarship  award  for  students  in  specialized  fields.  He 
was  hardly  his  grandfather's  model  of  the  industrious  book  worm,  but 
he  made  it  into  Cal  and  that  was  really  big  for  all  of  us. 

It  worked  out,  though,  that  when  he  saw  daylight — he  broke  for  it, 
And  at  the  end  of  his  freshman  year  he  got  a  job  as  a  tour  guide  at 
Universal  Studios  in  Hollywood — and  he  never  came  home!   But  somehow 
Papa  Warren  sensed  the  picture — and  he  never  made  Jocko  uncomfortable 
about  it.   Sort  of  like  the  master  mechanic  point  of  view,  I  guess, 
and  the  books-aren't-for-all-people  thing. 

But  we'll  all  say  this:   Jocko  had  called  his  own  shots  and  he 
sure  paid  his  price — but  his  grandparents — all  of  them — and  his 
brothers  sure  came  to  recognize  what  tenacity  and  determination  are. 
Hollywood,  you  know,  is  so  fickle — every  other  day  there's  a  new 
strike  and  no  work — and  so  heartless  and  so  insecure.   But  John 
cleaned  rugs,  found  odd  jobs,  got  a  few  commissions  to  do  art  work 
and  managed,  somehow,  to  keep  body  and  soul  together  between  films. 
And  today  he's  one  of  the  most  respected  location  managers  on  the  lot. 
He's  worked  some  big  network  TV  shows  and,  though  life  is  still  pre 
carious  in  Lotus  Land,  he  really  loves  what  he  calls  "The  Industry". 
And  don't  ever  think  Papa  Warren  wasn't  aware.   In  fact,  there  always 
seemed  a  sort  of  special  affection  there — because  of  his  respect  for 
their  differences  rather  than  their  similarities.  Which  was  another 
example  of  the  scope  of  that  man.  He  was  something  else. 

James  Warren 



Bridging  Office  and  Home 

Stein:   Yes.   I'd  like  to  back  up  a  little  and  talk  a  bit  more  about  Earl 

Warren  as  a  father,  when  he  was  still  district  attorney  and  attorney 
general.  Was  there  much  crossing  over  between  his  work  life  and  his 
home  life?  Did  he  bring  work  home  and  were  you  aware  of  his  work? 

Warren:   He  never  at  any  time  in  his  career,  from  DA  to  Chief  Justice,  ever 
brought  home  any  problems,  in  the  sense  of  foisting  them  on  his 
family,  as  far  as  his  work  was  concerned.  He  used  to  read  an  awful 
lot  when  he  was  home,  in  bed.  I  couldn't  say  for  sure  whether  they 
were  briefs — I'm  sure  some  of  them  must  have  been — but  the  rest  of 
the  time  he  was  reading  history  or  biographies  or  similar  heavy  stuff. 
He  wasn't  a  western  cowboy  magazine  reader.   Everything  he  read  was 
heavy.   And  I  just  always  assumed  it  had  something  to  do  either  with 
his  work  or  background  research  or  whatever.   It  never  intruded  on 
his  coming  home  at  night  and  our  having  dinner  and  when  we  all  went 
to  study  he  went  to  do  what  he  had  to  do.   I  don't  remember  ever 
seeing  him  in  bed  without  a  book  or  a  newspaper  or  something.  He 
was  always  doing  two  things  at  once. 

Stein:   So  he  went  right  along  with  your  mother  in  that  respect. 
Warren:   Yes,  exactly. 

Stein:   I  gather  there  were  one  or  two  times  when  the  cases  he  was  prosecuting 
as  DA  were  so  controversial  that  there  were  threatening  phone  calls  to 
the  home.   I  wonder  if  you  remember  that.   One  was  the  Sheriff  Becker 
case  and  the  other  was  the  shipboard  murder  case. 

Warren:   The  significance  of  whatever  you  heard  or  read  or  know  is  the  fact 
that  none  of  the  kids  ever  knew  it.   It  was  years  later  before  we 
ever  found  out  that  our  parents  had  these  problems. 

James  Warren 


Warren:       I  can  remember  when  I  first  heard  it,  that  I  had  seen  a  car 

parked  up  the  street  a  couple  of  blocks  but  I  didn't  pay  any  atten 
tion  to  it.   Sometime  later  I  found  out  it  was  somebody  keeping  an 
eye  on  the  house.  But  none  of  the  kids  were  ever  aware  at  any  time 
that  there  were  any  problems  going  on  like  that. 

I  always  wondered  how  my  mother  and  dad  could  keep  it  in  that 
much,  and  not  let  anybody  know.  But  they  really  rode  over  rough 
spots  for  us  and  we  didn't  even  know  they  were  going  on.   If  we  were 
being  shadowed  or  trailed  or  under  surveillance  or  whatever  on  the 
way  to  and  from  school,  we  never  knew  it.  And  to  this  day  I  don't 
know  for  sure  whether  we  were  or  we  weren't.  We  may  very  well  have 
been  and  not  even  been  aware  of  it. 

Stein:   During  the  shipboard  murder  case  I  think  there  were  pickets  at  the 
house  on  one  or  two  occasions. 

Warren:   If  that  happened  I  don't  remember  seeing  it.   I  don't  remember  any 
occasion  where  I  had  to  come  home  and  walk  through  a  picket  line  to 
get  into  the  house  or  if  there  were  any  crowds  or  anything. 

The  only  inference  I  can  recall  on  that  score  was  that  I  was  out 
cutting  the  lawn  one  day  when  an  old  man  came  along  stenciling  numbers 
on  the  curbs,  repainting  the  house  numbers.   It  was  only  a  quarter  or 
something,  so  I  said,  "Swell."  Ours  was  all  worn  out;  you  couldn't 
read  it.   So  I  paid  the  guy  a  quarter  and  he  painted  88  on  the  Vernon 
Street  curb. 

My  mother  and  dad  didn't  even  know  I  did  it  and  I  said,  "Hey, 
look  what  I've  done.   It  only  cost  me  a  quarter  and  you  have  a  whole 
brand  new  number  here."  My  mother  told  me  later  that  it  was  just  as 
well  that  we  didn't  emphasize  the  number  because  they  didn't  want 
people  to  know  the  address.  But  that's  as  far  as  it  went. 

Stein:   Were  you  ever  aware  of  your  father's  position  in  the  community?  Did 
friends  or  teachers  treat  you  any  differently  because  your  father  was 
the  district  attorney? 

Warren:   If  there  was  a  difference  it  was  always  one  of  respect  and  I  was  just 
totally  proud  that  they  knew  him  and  liked  him  and  respected  him.   I 
never  got  an  impression  from  anybody  in  those  growing  up  years  of  any 
thing  except  here  was  a  man  who  was  greatly  admired  and  respected. 

Stein:    That's  what  I  meant.   He  had  an  enormous  reputation  statewide  and 
nationwide  of  being  one  of  the  best  DA's  in  the  country.   I  wonder 
if  that  set  you  apart  in  school  at  all? 

Warren:   No,  it  just  made  me  feel  that  I  was  among  friends.   Everybody  who  did 
know  him  had  nothing  but  good  things  to  say  and  it  sure  kept  the — I 
shouldn't  say  kept  the  pressure  on,  but  made  you  aware  that,  don't 
blow  it  fpr  this  guy.   He's  got  too  good  a  reputation  and  don't  do 
anything  that's  going  to  louse  it  up.  We  tried  to  be  very  careful. 

Family  Life  at  Vernon  Street 

James  Warren 




Was  he  able  to  be  home  a  lot  for  dinner  and  things  like  that? 
work  interfere  with  the  home  schedule? 

Or  did 






I  don't  recall  any  extended  absences  at  all.  He'd  have  to  go  away  to 
a  conference  for  two  or  three  days,  something  like  that.  It  was  a 
pretty  organized  routine.  He'd  come  home  about  the  same  time  every 
night.   If  not  necessarily  the  same  time,  we'd  have  dinner  together 
at  home  almost  every  night.   Or  if  he  didn't  my  mother  would  fix  a 
sandwich  in  the  kitchen  or  whatever,  then  dad  would  come  home  later 
and  the  kids  would  stay  up.   One  thing  we  never  did,  one  thing  they 
never  did  do  that  I  found  everybody  in  the  world  that  I've  ever  known 
since  has  always  done,  they  never  had  any  cocktail  parties  at  home  or 
entertained  at  home,  just  for  entertaining.  Any  time  anybody  came 
over  it  was — except  for  Sunday  afternoon  lunches  which  were  very 
casual — there  was  no,  what  we've  become  so  used  to,  business  enter 
taining,  that  type  of  thing.   There  was  never  any  of  that. 

That's  a  very  interesting  insight. 

In  fact  I  never  even  heard  of  a  babysitter  until  after  I  was  married, 
but  then  I  guess  when  you  look  back  on  it,  with  all  the  kids,  they 
always  had  somebody  in  the  house.  My  mother  always  had  help,  but  not 
maid  service.   They  were  housekeepers,  really.   They  were  there  working 
just  as  hard  as  she  was.   But  it  was  not  in  any  sense  a  social  advan 
tage  to  have  help  in  the  house — they  were  needed. 

Would  the  help  live  in? 
Yes,  always  lived  in. 

I  see.   So  there  was  always  somebody  to  watch  you,  if  your  parents  did 
happen  to  be  going  out.  But  I  gather  from  what  you're  saying  that  they 
didn't  even  go  out  much  in  the  evenings. 

Right,  they  didn't  unless  there  was  an  official  function  of  some  sort, 
which  didn't  happen  very  often.   My  mother  avoided  everything  she 
could .   [Laughter . ] 

One  of  the  things  that  Earl,  Jr.,  stressed  when  we  interviewed  him  was 
also  what  you've  been  saying  about  how  available  your  father  was  all 
the  time,  and  he  told  the  story  of  being  so  amazed  when  he'd  go  in  to 
chat  while  your  father  was  reading  in  bed  at  night,  and  they'd  be 
talking  about  something  and  he'd  suddenly  notice  that  his  father  had 
dozed  off  for  a  moment  or  two,  but  then  he'd  wake  up  and  continue  the 
conversation  just  as  if  he  never  stopped. 

James  Warren 


Warren:   Yes,  that  happened  all  the  time. 
Stein:   That  seems  remarkable  to  me. 

Warren:   Yes.   Well,  he  wasn't  going  to  hurt  our  feelings  by  cutting  off  the 
conversation  but  he  just  was  so  pooped  he'd  just  fall  asleep,  then 
he'd  wake  up  again  and — 

Stein:   — carry  on. 

Warren:   I  remember  laughing  at  the  distinction  between  what  I've  since  learned, 
as  an  adult  and  married,  how  everybody  else  does  things.   Dad  would 
come  home,  and  usually  the  first  thing  was,  "How  did  practice  go 
today?"   I'd  just  follow  him  wherever  he  was  going  and  we'd  usually 
end  up  in  the  bathroom  and  he'd  reach  into  the  medicine  closet  there 
and  pull  out  a  bottle  of  bourbon.   He'd  have  a  couple  of  drinks  while 
we  stood  there,  while  he  was  changing  his  clothes,  and  this  was  his 
cocktail  hour.   If  Dad  had  gotten  home  and  we  didn't  see  him,  we'd 
say,  "Where's  Dad,  Mother?"  And  she'd  say,  "Oh,  he's  up  having  his 
medicine . "   [Laughter . ] 

My  mother's  always  been  a  teetotaler.   I  don't  think  she's  ever 
had  a  drink  in  her  life.   I  remember  one  time  Dad  saying,  "Nina, 
we're  getting  low  on  this  bottle  here.   Would  you  mind  calling  down 
to  the  drugstore  and  ordering  some  more,"  you  know,  restock  the  larder. 
And  she  would  say,  "What  do  you  want?"  He'd  say,  "I  guess  we'd  better 
get  a  couple  of  bottles  of  bourbon  and  a  fifth  of  scotch."  My  mother 
got  on  the  phone  and  called  Stier's  Drugstore  and  asked  them  to  please 
send  up  two  bottles  of  bourbon  and  one  bottle  of  fifths. 


Stein:   Earlier  you  mentioned  Sundays  and  I  gather  that  Sundays  your  father 
always  tried  to  give  your  mother  a  day  off. 

Warren:   This  was  always  the  ritual. 
Stein:   How  would  that  work? 

Warren:  Well,  usually  Sundays,  my  recollection  is — because  I  was  older  than 
the  other  kids,  at  this  point,  so  that  what  they  did  and  what  I  did 
would  be  two  different  things — I'd  walk  to  Sunday  school  and  meet  my 
cousin.   Then  as  soon  as  Sunday  school  was  over  we'd  take  off  and  go 
down  to  the  Athens  Club  and  we'd  spend  all  morning  in  the  gym  and  the 
pool.  We'd  get  back  at  2:30,  something  like  that,  and  in  the  mean 
time  my  dad  would  have  taken  all  the  rest  of  the  kids  out  to  the  zoo. 

James  Warren 


Warren:   And  we'd  all  gather  back  at  the  house  and  I  remember  triple  deckers, 
deviled  egg  sandwiches  you  know,  sort  of  in  the  middle  of  the  after 
noon,  and  that  was  the  big  meal  that  day.   I  didn't  go  to  the  zoo  with 
them  because  I  was  out  of  the  zoo  age.   He'd  empty  the  halls,  and  take 
them  all  out  and  let  my  mother  have  a  rest.  Something  he  always  looked 
forward  to  and  so  did  she. 

Stein:   I  gather  sometimes  he  took  them  over  to  his  sister's,  Ethel  Plank. 

Warren:  Yes,  Ethel  Plank.   They  were  very  close.   This  cousin  I'm  talking 
about  is  Bud  Plank,  Ethel's  son. 

Stein:   Was  he  about  your  age? 

Warren:   Oh,  Bud's  maybe  four  years  younger,  two  to  four,  I've  forgotten.  But 

we  used  to  manage  to  walk  slow  enough  that  by  the  time  we  got  to  Sunday 
school  it  was  all  over  [laughter].   One  time  we  got  caught.  One  time 
we  got  caught  and  Mother  and  Dad  found  out  that  we  hadn't  gone  to 
Sunday  school  at  all,  we  had  just  gone  over  there  and  gotten  on  a 
street  car  and  gone  down  to  the  Athens  Club.   My  punishment  was  that 
for  one  month  I  could  not  go  to  a  movie,  and  I  don't  think  I  ever 
missed  Sunday  school  again. 

Stein:   I  seem  to  remember  that  John  Weaver  tells  that  story  and  says  that 

your  father  handled  that  in  a  very  typical  style,  reasoning  with  you. 

Warren:  Yes,  he  did.  He,  in  effect,  let  me  levy  my  own  punishment.  He  said, 
"This  was  a  very  serious  breach."  And  I  had  to  come  up  with  something 
that  was  a  real  punishment. 

Stein:    So  did  you  come  up  with  the  idea  of  no  movies? 

Warren:  Well,  I  guess  the  fact  that  he  knew  I  liked  to  go  to  the  movie  every 
Saturday  afternoon  was  so  important  that  okay,  if  that's  the  thing 
that's  so  important  to  you  then  that's  the  thing  that  you're  going  to 
do  without.   There  was  nothing  I  could  do  except  acquiesce  and  agree 
that  I  was  wrong  and  it's  fair.   I  was  heisted  on  my  own  petard. 
[Laughter . ] 

He  would  never,  for  example,  deprive  you  of  such  privileges  as 
going  out  for  practice  or  take  you  off  the  team  for  a  week  or  any 
thing  like  that,  because  that  could  be  damaging.   That  would  really 
be  unfair  to  the  kid.  He  would  always  take  something  that  was 
obviously  innocuous  but  important  to  the  child. 

Stein:  When  you  talked  about  going  off  to  Sunday  school  I  meant  to  ask  you  a 
little  bit  more  about  your  religious  education.  What  church  was  this 
that  you  went  to  Sunday  school  at? 

James  Warren 


Warren:   Golly.  At  this  particular  time  there  was  a  church  that  was  around  the 
corner  from  where  the  Planks  lived.   It  was  a  Protestant  church;  I 
don't  remember  whether  it  was  Episcopalian  or  Methodist  or  which. 
Then  when  we  were  living  on  Vernon  Street  we  went  to  the  closest 
church — I  remember  the  kids  did. 

My  mother's  father  was  a  Baptist  minister  as  well  as  a  doctor 
and  an  art  anatomist.   I  understand  he  illustrated  medical  books. 
Her  sister  Eva  became  a  missionary,  some  sort  of  off-beat  faith.  It 
was  a  Protestant  faith  basically,  I  guess.   Uncle  Tom  was  a  missionary 
in  China  and  was  over  there  with  bullets  coming  through  the  window  and 
working  with  the  natives  and  the  tribes  and  all  this  sort  of  thing. 
They  traveled  all  over  the  world. 

Aunt  Ethel  was  a  practicing  Scientist,  Christian  Scientist.  But 
I  don't  think  Dad  ever — I  never  did  understand  the  relationship  between 
his  sister  being  a  Scientist  and  his  not.   I  guess  he  put  down  Baptist 
as  his  religion  but  I  don't  remember  his  ever  going  to  church  regu 
larly.   And  then  when  everybody  got  married  it's  just  a  hodgepodge. 
We've  got  every  religion  in  the  book  in  the  family.  Maggie's  family 
was  Catholic;  I'm  not.   Honey  Bear's  husband  is  Jewish.   Well,  there's 
a  Baptist  thing  on  my  mother's  side,  I  suppose.   It  just  seems  to  me 
that  somewhere  along  the  line  we've  got  just  about  everything  you 

Stein:   It's  a  real  melting  pot. 
Warren:   Yes. 

Family  Recollections 

Stein:   Backing  up  to  the  visits  to  the  zoo,  Earl,  Jr.  tells  the  story  of  how 
Honey  Bear  [Nina  Elizabeth  Warren]  got  her  name.   I  wondered  if  you 
had  your  own  version  of  that  story.   It  had  something  to  do  with  the 
zoo  and  a  bear  in  the  zoo. 

Warren:  What  I  would  be  able  to  repeat  would  be  what  I  have  heard  also,  because 
I  wasn't  at  the  zoo  that  day.   But  it  had  something  to  do,  I  think, 
with  Honey  Bear  seeing  this  bear  and  whether  or  not  one  of  her  brothers 
said,  "Looks  like  you,  Honey  Bear,"  or  "You're  just  like  that  honey 
bear,"  or  whatever,  but  anyway  the  "Honey  Bear"  and  the  bear  and  the 
girl  all  seemed  to  come  together  at  the  same  place  at  the  same  time. 
So  she's  been  Honey  Bear  ever  since. 

Stein:  I  think  it  was  Bobby  who  told  us  a  story  of  playing  a  game  at  dinner, 
I  guess  this  is  at  Vernon  Street,  when  the  family  would  all  be  eating 
dinner  together.  It  was  patterned  after  Information  Please,  the  quiz 
show  on  the  radio. 

James  Warren 


Warren:   I  noticed  your  note  on  that  [on  the  interview  outline]  and  I've 
wondered  myself  what  that  was. 

Stein:   The  story,  as  he  tells  it,  is  that  the  family  had  a  sort  of  a  quiz 
show  where  people  would  be  asked  questions  about  current  events. 
Bobby,  because  he  was  the  youngest,  would  act  as  moderator. 

Warren:   Maybe  I  was  studying  [laughter]. 

Stein:   Maybe  you  were  already  at  the  university. 

Warren:  Yes.   That  doesn't  bring  back  a  great  deal  to  me.  Maybe  I  was  at  Cal. 

Stein:   You  mentioned  not  going  to  the  zoo  on  Sunday,  being  too  old,  but  I 

gather  that  all  six  of  you  were  a  fairly  close  knit  family,  as  children 
go,  even  though  you  were  all  so  different. 

Warren:   Oh,  yes.   I  was  so  elated  to  have  a  sister  when  Virginia  was  born,  I 
just  couldn't  stay  away  from  her.  And  as  each  of  the  other  kids  came 
along  it  just  got  better  all  the  time.   I  remember  with  Bob — I  guess 
we're  sixteen  years  apart — but  I  remember  as  soon  as  Bob  was  big 
enough  we  used  to  play  football  with  him,  and  he  was  the  football. 
I  was  in  high  school  and  some  of  the  other  guys  on  the  team  would  be 
over  at  the  house  and  I  remember  we  used  to  get  out  on  this  big  lawn 
and  we  would  almost  literally  center  Bob  between  our  legs  and  throw 
forward  passes  with  him  [laughter].  My  mother  would  be  holding  her 
head  at  the  window  thinking  we're  going  to  drop  that  child,  don't  do 
that.   [Laughter.] 

The  kids  were  awfully  close. 
Stein:   Do  I  gather  that  you  played  a  role  in  Virginia's  name? 

Warren:   Yes.   There  was  a  fellow  down  at  the  military  academy  whose  name  was 
Bob  Jones.   He  was  a  big,  good-looking  athletic  guy.   If  I  was  nine 
when  Virginia  was  born,  maybe  Bob  was  fifteen  or  sixteen.   He  was  a 
big  athlete,  and  he  had  a  sister  who  used  to  come  to  some  of  the  dances 
or  whatever,  and  she  was  a  beautiful  girl.  Her  name  was  Virginia  and 
it  became  my  favorite  name.   So  as  soon  as  the  baby  was  born  I  sug 
gested  Virginia.   That's  my  recollection. 

Stein:   That's  a  lovely  story.  You  mentioned  that  your  father  read  heavy  books 
all  the  time.   I  wonder  if  you  did  any  reading  or  if  he  encouraged 
the  rest  of  the  family  to  read. 

Warren:   He  always  encouraged  everybody  to  read,  and  I  think  I  was  his  biggest 

disappointment  on  that  score.   I  was  either  always  practicing  for  some 
thing  or  studying  to  stay  in  school.   Pleasure  reading  was  something 
that — I  guess  maybe  that  I  had  to  read  so  darn  much  in  college  in  this 

James  Warren 








philosophy  stuff.  Everything  you  read  you  were  going  to  be  tested  on 
and  you'd  have  to  remember  and  be  graded  on  and  all  that  to  the  point 
that  the  pleasure  of  reading  just  doesn't  exist  in  my  life.  I  figure 
if  you  read  something  you're  studying. 

Were  you  involved  at  all  in  the  summer  vacations  at  the  Uplifter's 

We  were  married,  Maggie  and  I  were  married,  at  the  time  that  the  family 
used  to  go  down  there  a  lot.   All  of  the  grunion  hunting  and  what  they 
now  call  scuba  diving  and  spear  fishing  and  all  that — the  family  used 
to  go  down  there  and  spend  the  summer.   Ma-ggie  and  I  went  down  a  couple 
of  times  but  only  after  we  were  married.  We  never  did  get  in  on  the 
grunion  hunts  or  that  type  of  thing. 

So  you  never  spent  the  whole  summer  there? 

No.   I  was  working  in  San  Francisco  and  vacations  were  two  weeks  at 
the  most. 

I  see.   John  Weaver  tells  a  story  which  I  gather  he  was  told  by  Mrs. 
Warren,  and  I  wonder  if  you  remembered  it  from  your  end  of  it.   The 
story  was  of  Mrs.  Warren  getting  all  the  children  to  clean  their 
rooms,  and  that  as  the  result  of  cleaning  the  room  you  were  then 
awarded  your  twenty-five  cents  allowance.   One  week  she  discovered 
that  everybody  had  failed  to  clean  his  or  her  room  except  you.  Your 
room  was  the  only  one  that  was  clean.  She  gathered  all  the  children 
around  the  table  and  piled  all  six  quarters  in  front  of  you,  saying 
that  you  got  the  pot  that  time  because  you  cleaned  your  room,  and 
everybody  learned  their  lesson  from  that.   Everybody  always  cleaned 
his  room  after  that.   I  wondered  if  you  remember  that. 

Yes,  vaguely.  I  don't  discount  it  or  doubt  it,  but  if  anybody  asked 
me  to  recall  that  I  don't  believe  I'd  be  able  to  repeat  it,  but  it 
probably  happened.   My  mother  was  very  devious  that  way.   [Laughter. 
I  guess  devious  isn't  the  word.   Indirect,  indirect.   If  she  wanted 
to  make  a  point  she  slid  it  past  you  rather  than  hitting  you  on  the 
head  with  it. 


The  Vernon  Street  House 

Stein:  I  thought  that  was  a  wonderful  story.  I  would  like  to  check  out  a 
little  more  about  Vernon  Street.  You  mentioned  that  it  was  a  very 
large  house.  Was  there  a  lot  of  land  that  went  with  it? 

James  Warren 


Warren:   It  was  a  great  big  lot.   I  wouldn't  be  surprised  if  it  was  as  big  as 
an  acre.   I  know  it  had  a  big  back  yard  and  a  big  lawn  in  the  front 
and  a  good  size  lawn  in  the  back.   And  then  it  had  an  area  of  just 
overgrown  shrubbery.   That  part  was  just  too  much  to  make  a  garden 
out  of. 

But  the  house — it  was  pretty  massive  from  the  standpoint  of  having 
all  the  necessary  rooms.  What  were  there?  I  think  there  were  four 
bedrooms  and  a  big  sleeping  porch  on  the  second  floor  and  then  upstairs 
there  was  another  bedroom,  no  there  were  two  other  bedrooms  and  a 
library.   I  guess  seven  bedrooms  and  a  library.   That's  big.   And  a 
big  entrance  hall  and  a  big  living  room  and  solarium  and  a  dining  room 
and  breakfast  room  and  kitchen.   It's  in  no  way  an  ostentatious  house; 
it's  no  San  Simeon  or  anything  like  that.   It  was  just  a  big  house  for 
a  family  with  an  awful  lot  of  people. 

Stein:   So  everyone  had  his  own  room? 

Warren:   Yes.   It  worked  out  everybody  finally  had  his  own  room.   And  at  88 
[Vernon]  Dad  had  quite  a  formal  library  upstairs,  with  bookshelves 
and  paneling.  He  had  a  desk  up  there;  I  used  to  go  up  there  and 
study  a  lot.  Whether  he  would  go  in  there  and  study  at  his  desk — 
you  know  in  answer  to  "Did  he  bring  work  home?" — if  he  did  I  guess 
it  was  one  of  these  times  when  we'd  gone  to  our  rooms  to  study  or 
after  dinner  we'd  broken  up  and  gone  to  do  whatever  we  had  to  do. 

Stein:   I  gather  you  lived  there  yourself  after  you  were  married,  when  the 
family  had  moved  to  Sacramento. 

Warren:  We  got  married  during  the  war  and  as  soon  as  I  went  overseas  Maggie 
stayed  there.   I  think  it  was  good  from  my  mother  and  dad's  stand 
point.   They  liked  the  fact  that  they  had  somebody  living  on  the  place 
and  taking  care  of  it  rather  than  have  to  worry  about  renting  it  out. 
Maggie's  the  one  who  lived  there  mostly  during  the  war.   And  after 
the  war,  when  I  came  back,  we  stayed  there — my  gosh,  I  can't  remember 
how  long.   It  wasn't  very  long  because  we  were  anxious  to  get  our  own 
little  rose-covered  cottage.  But  we  did  live  there  temporarily. 

Stein:   Just  one  more  thing  I  wanted  to  check  out  about  Vernon  Street:   I've 
read  that  your  mother,  every  Christmas,  got  a  Christmas  tree  for 
every  child  that  was  just  the  height  of  the  child.  Were  you  a  part 
of  that? 

Warren:   The  entire  basement — it  was  a  big  full  basement — all  finished  off  so 
the  whole  thing  could  be  used.   That's  where  the  Shrine  band  used  to 
come  every  Christmas.   There  was  a  great  big  open  room  and  there  was 
a  Christmas  tree  for  every  one  of  the  kids.   I  was  the  only  one  who 
didn't  open  his  presents  on  Christmas  Eve,  but  they  wanted  to  let  all 
the  kids  open  their  presents  so  they  could  sleep  through  the  night. 

James  Warren 


Warren : 


Warren : 

I  never  broke  the  tradition,  and  to  this  day  I  hate  to  open  a  present 
any  time  but  Christmas  Day.   The  kids  had  their  own  trees  and  they'd 
all  open  presents  and  bring  them  over  and  show  everybody  what  they 
got,  and  there  would  be  a  lot  of  huzza-huzza-ing. 

Did  everybody  decorate  his  own  tree? 
natural  condition? 

Or  were  they  left  in  their 

Oh,  they  were  all  decorated.   I  think  it  got  to  the  point  where  the 
kids  decorated  their  own  trees,  but  I'm  not  positive. 

Jim  Warren's  Christmas  Cards 

Stein:   Speaking  of  Christmases,  weren't  you  later  responsible  for  drawing  the 
family  Christmas  cards?   Could  you  tell  me  about  that? 

Warren:   I  suppose  if  any  single  thing  more  bespeaks  the  spirit  of  this  clan 
it  would  be  the  way  those  cards  originally  started.   Some  gal  in 
Sacramento  did  some  Christmas  cards  showing  every  member  of  the  family 
doing  something.   Sometimes  it'd  be  around  the  dinner  table,  sometimes 
they'd  not  be  doing  much  of  anything  except  standing  around,  but  they'd 
all  be  in  the  Christmas  card.   So  I  volunteered  myself  once — I  tried 
it  first  before  I  spoke  to  anybody — and  made  a  Christmas  card.  That 
got  me  into  it.   I  made  the  Christmas  cards  for  the  next  five  or  six 
years  or  so.   But  just  the  feeling  and  the  character  of  those  Christmas 
cards,  I  think,  tells  more  about  the  closeness  of  the  family  than 

Stein:   What  would  be  on  a  card? 

Warren:   Everybody  in  the  family  and  all  the  animals.   I'm  not  sure  that  the 
annual  Warren  family  Christmas  card  didn't  start  a  trend.   The  idea 
seems  to  have  been  picked  up  and  now  everybody  and  his  uncle  sends 
out  pictures  of  the  whole  family. 

These  were  drawings  and  they  always  had  some  sort  of  a  theme, 
either  all  the  kids  were  toys  on  the  mantle  piece  or  hanging  out  of 
the  socks  on  the  fireplace  or  dancing  marionnettes,  or  going  through 
the  sky  on  a  sleigh  with  the  dogs  wearing  antlers  like  reindeer. 
There  was  one  cowboy  thing  and  another  with  everybody  climbing  up 
and  down  the  chimney. 

James  Warren 


Stein:   Marvelous  I   Do  you  still  have  a  file  of  those  cards? 
Warren:   I've  got  some  of  them.  Yes. 

Stein:   Would  we  be  able  to  borrow  them  to  xerox  one  or  two  of  them  and 
include  them  with  your  interview? 

Warren:   Oh,  sure.* 

See  Appendix  A 

James  Warren 



The  Fight  to  Join 




I'd  like  to  move  on  to  your  own  career  and  family, 
did  you  do? 

After  UC,  what 

Well,  I  graduated  in  the  spring  of  '41,  May  of  '41.  A  good  friend 
of  mine,  Bill  Joost,  who  was  a  classmate — we'd  been  all  through  high 
school  and  everything  else  together — Bill  wanted  to  go  to  Harvard 
Business  School.  He  was  a  very  serious  student,  heck  of  a  nice  guy 
and  all.   The  next  thing  I  knew— I  don't  know  whether  Bill  was  trying 
to  talk  me  into  approaching  the  thing  with  my  dad  or  whether  my  dad 
thought  this  was  a  good  idea  because  of  a  guy  like  Bill — but  somehow 
I  ended  up  going  to  Harvard  graduate  school.   To  me  the  thought  of 
going  to  a  business  school  was — if  I  was  scared  about  going  to  Cal 
it  was  like  going  to  another  country.   I  was  going  to  be  in  an  area 
I  knew  nothing  about. 

On  the  other  coast,  too. 

You  had  to  take  Econ.  LA  at  Cal,  I  think,  as  a  required  course  and  I 
did  that.   I  punished  myself  by  taking  a  course  in  statistics,  or 
whatever — it  was  accounting,  that  was  the  thing,  in  accounting, 
because  this  was  supposed  to  be  bedrock.   It's  the  closest  thing 
I've  ever  come  to  flunking  a  course  in  my  life.   I  was  completely 
a  fish  out  of  water  in  that  course.   I  think  the  only  barely  passing 
grade  I  got  in  college  was  in  accounting.   I  just  detested  it.   But 
here  again  this  is  good  for  you.   And  Dad  would  say  a  business  back 
ground  was  good  for  whatever  you  were  going  to  do  no  matter  what  field 
it's  going  to  be  in.  You  ought  to  think  about  this  thing  seriously. 
He  was  willing  to  encourage  it,  so  I  ended  up  going  to  Harvard  Graduate 
School  of  Business  Administration  for  a  year. 

James  Warren 


Warren:       The  war  broke  out  when  we  were  back  there,  but  in  the  meantime 
with  this  elbow  I  was  classified  4-F.   So  at  the  end  of  the  first 
year  I  came  back  to  the  coast  and  I  tried  to — a  lot  of  the  guys  at 
the  business  school  were  going  into  Navy  Supply  Corps,  because  that's 
where  the  navy  supply  school  was,  at  Harvard.   And  I  thought  well 
maybe  I  can  get  a  waiver  on  this  elbow  and  be  in  the  supply  corps. 
So  I  applied  for  supply  school  and  went  to  work  at  Mare  Island  ship 
yard  for  free,  for  nothing,  and  I  worked  there  for  three  months  under 
the  supply  officer.  Went  everyday  just  as  though  I  were  in  the  navy 
to  learn  the  ropes  so  that  if  the  waiver  was  granted  I  would  have 
that  much  more  experience. 

Well,  the  waiver  was  turned  down.   But  I  can  say  I  was  in  the 
navy  for  three  months,  in  effect.   Then  I  went  down  to  the  draft  board 
and  argued  with  them  some  more  and  finally  got  reclassified  into  1-B 
and  was  drafted  into  the  army.   1-B  was  limited  service.   Well,  there's 
nothing  worse  than  being  in  uniform  and  being  in  limited  service,  in 
my  opinion.   I  was  at  the  Presidio  at  Monterey,  assigned  to  the  Presidio 
at  Monterey  initially,  interviewing  and  classifying  recruits  coming  in. 

After  three  months  in  the  army  I  applied  for  infantry  OCS  [Officers 
Candidate  School] .   Of  all  the  applicants  who  were  applying  for  OCS  I 
think  I  was  the  only  guy  who  applied  for  the  infantry.   All  the  rest 
of  them  were  trying  for  adjutant  general  school  and  quartermaster  and 
all  the  Mickey  Mouse  stuff.   I  was  accepted  to  OCS  but  turned  down  on 
the  physical  again. 

I  was  walking  down  the  hall — as  I  left  the  review  board — and  I 
went  past  a  bulletin  board  twenty-five  feet  away  that  said  paratroopers 
wanted.   So  I  walked  into  their  office  and  I  faked  the  physical.   I 
kept  talking  as  I  bent  over  to  touch  my  toes  and  they  weren't  looking 
at  my  arm.   I  was  accepted  in  the  paratroopers,  which  meant  an  auto 
matic  promotion  from  private  to  PFC  [private  first  class],  and  I'd 
been  in  the  army  long  enough  to  rate  a  ten-day  furlough.   So  on  the 
furlough  I  asked  Maggie  if  she  wanted  to  get  married.   And  we  became 

Then  I  was  to  take  off  for  Fort  Benning,  Georgia.   I  had  my  duffle 
bag  over  my  shoulder  and  one  foot  literally  on  the  train  to  go  to  Fort 
Benning,  when  somebody  called  my  name  and  hauled  me  off.   It  turned 
out  that  a  fellow  who  later  became  a  local  politician  in  the  area  had 
heard  that  I  had  been  turned  down  for  OCS  and  how  come  I  could  be 
accepted  for  the  paratroopers  if  I  had  been  turned  down  for  OCS. 

I  remember  my  dad  just  went  through  the  roof.  He  thought,  for 
crying  out  loud,  how  could  any  man  interfere  in  another  man's  life. 
Who's  saving  who  from  what.  I  could  walk  across  the  street  and  get 
hit  by  a  truck.  A  man  should  do  with  his  life  what  he  wants  and  for 
some  guy  to  step  in  and  think  he's  going  to  be  appointed  postmaster 
or  something — I've  never  seen  him  so  mad. 

James  Warren 


Warren:       But  then  I  was  transferred  up  to  the  Presidio  in  San  Francisco 

and  commuted  to  the  war  on  a  streetcar,  which  is  the  most  humiliating 
thing  you  could  do.  Here  we  were  in  classified  records,  all  the 
secret  documents,  top-secret  stuff  that  nobody  was  supposed  to  know 
about.   I  remember  coming  home  one  night  and  reading  the  headlines 
in  the  newspapers  that  the  Americans  had  hit  Kiska  [Alaska]  and  there 
were  no  Japs  there.   Well,  we  had  gotten  this  top-coded,  secret  mes 
sage  just  a  matter  of  hours  before.   Nobody  else  in  the  world  knew 
this  had  happened.   And  here  it  is  in  the  headlines  of  the  paper  on 
my  way  home  that  night.   I  couldn't  believe  it. 

I  guess  I  was  in  the  army  roughly  eighteen  months,  sixteen  to 
eighteen  months.   Somewhere  along  in  that  period,  a  college  friend 
of  mine  who  was  a  flyer  in  the  Marine  Corps  mentioned  that  you  can 
be  discharged  from  one  branch  of  the  service  to  accept  a  commission 
in  another — or  if  you're  commissioned  you  can  transfer  to  another 
branch  for  a  higher  commission.   So  I  went  down  to  the  Marine  Corps — 
here  I  am  a  sergeant  in  the  army — and  I  applied  for  a  commission  in 
the  Marine  Corps.   They  granted  a  waiver,  so  I  was  discharged  from 
the  army  to  accept  a  commission  in  the  Marine  Corps.   I  ended  up  in 
an  infantry  outfit  in  the  marines  and  got  overseas. 

Stein:   Where  did  you  go? 

Warren:   Went  to  Guam.   It  was  secured  by  the  time  I  got  there.   We  went  on  a 

number  of  patrols,  because  there  were  still  a  lot  of  Japs  on  the  island. 
I  was  in  a  reconnaissance  company;  snooper-poopers  in  tennis  shoes 
behind  the  enemy  lines  and  rubber  boats  off  of  submarines  is  the  type 
of  thing  we  were  being  trained  for.   But  then  they  mechanized  the  whole 
outfit  and  instead  of  reconnoitering  a  few  hundred  yards  ahead  of  our 
lines,  we  were  supposed  to  be  a  few  miles  out  front  in  jeeps  and  tanks 
and  all  that  stuff.   And  about  that  time  they  dropped  the  bomb. 

So  I  guess  in  a  way  I  was  in  every  branch  but  the  Air  Corps :  in 
the  navy  for  three  months,  the  army  for  sixteen  months  and  the  Marine 
Corps  for  a  couple  of  years. 

Stein:   So  you  saw  your  share  of  duty  in  the  war.  When  you  were  at  the  Presidio 
in  San  Francisco  did  you  have  much  to  do  with  General  John  DeWitt? 

Warren:   He  was  commanding  general;  I  saluted  him  on  guard  duty.   As  he  came 
through  I  would  pop  to  with  the  rifle  and  all  that  type  of  thing. 

Stein:   Were  you  at  all  involved  in  the  work  he  was  doing  about  the  Japanese 
in  California? 

Warren:   No.   I  was  in  no  way — I  was  strictly  in  classified  records  and  pulling 
guard  duty. 

James  Warren 





Warren : 


You  got  married  somewhere  in  the  middle  there,  right? 

Got  married  on  the  tenth  of  May  in  '43.  Yes.   I  went  in  [the  army] 
on  October  2,  1942.  Yes.   It  was  the  tenth  of  May,  '43. 

Had  you  met  your  wife  in  college? 

Yes.   She  was  my  eighth  blind  date  in  a  row.   [Laughter.]   I  never 
even  went  out  with  girls.   Of  course  I  went  to  the  functions  you  had 
to  go  to,  the  house  functions  and  inter-fraternity  events.   But  I 
think  over  a  period  of  two  years  I  had  eight  blind  dates,  and  Maggie 
was  the  eighth  one. 

That's  a  wonderful  story.   I  gather  that  she  was  quite  a  tennis  star. 

She  was.   In  the  under  eighteens  [year  category]  she  was  national 
doubles  champ  and  state  singles  champ.   If  she'd  won  the  state  singles 
championship  for  the  third  time,  and  nobody's  ever  done  that,  she 
would  have  had  permanent  possession  of  the  trophy  that  Helen  Wills 
and  Helen  Jacobs  had  their  names  on.  Apparently  nobody's  ever  won 
it  three  times  going.   Yes,  she's  good. 

Does  she  still  play  tennis? 

Oh,  we  play  a  lot  of  social  tennis, 
a  winner.   [Laughter.] 

She  plays  like  a  man,  she's  still 

James  Warren 



[tape  2,  side  l] 

Climbing  the  Corporate  Ladder 

Stein:   When  you  got  out  of  the  service,  what  did  you  do? 

Warren:  That's  when  I  started  looking  for  a  job  in  the  advertising  agency 

business.   I  had  a  couple  of  friends  who  were  in  the  business.  They 
were  the  first  ones  I  went  to  see;  in  fact,  I'd  been  through  college 
with  them.   I  thought  I  wanted  to  be  in  the  art  department.  At  every 
place  I  was  interviewed  they  all  said  to  me,  "We  can't  hire  you.  You 
don't  have  any  experience."  You  go  around  that  big  circle.  How  do 
you  get  the  experience  to  get  hired  if  you  can't  get  hired  unless  you 
first  get  the  experience. 

I  heard  about  a  friend  of  mine  who  was  starting  his  own  agency, 
and  they  were  just  opening  their  doors.   I  went  up  and  I  talked — his 
name  was  Phil  Boone — and  I  talked  to  Phil,  and  Phil  said,  "We  don't 
even  have  an  account  yet.  The  only  client  we've  got  is  the  San 
Francisco  Symphony.   We're  doing  a  brochure  for  the  symphony.   That's 
where  we're  starting.   So  if  you  want  to  put  a  desk  over  there  you 
can  take  on  any  freelance  work  that  you  can  pick  up  along  the  way  and 
you've  got  an  office.  Anything  that  comes  in  here,  well,  you're  our 
art  director." 

I'll  never  forget  the  first  guy  that  came  in  from  among  the 
suppliers.  He  came  in  and  introduced  himself  as  a  typographer.   I 
thought  he  said  topographer  and  I  wondered  what  map  reading  had  to  do 
with  the  agency  business.   He  was  talking  about  typesetting.   I  mean 
I  was  that  green;  I  knew  nothing  about  it. 

It  wasn't  long  before  I  made  up  my  mind  that  I  just  better  get 
out  and  spend  some  time  visiting  the  engraving  shops  and  the  printing 
houses  and  taking  notes — going  through  all  the  processes  for  repro 
ducing  art  work — to  learn  the  business. 

James  Warren 


Warren:       I  was  making  the  handsome  salary  of  a  hundred  and  fifty  bucks  a 
month  with  one  son.   I  think  I  got  it  to  $185  and  then  to  $250  when 
Jeff  was  born,  but  I  just  couldn't  make  it  on  that.   And  also  I  wasn't 
really  learning  as  much  as  I  ought  to. 

So  I  went  over  and  talked  to  John  Hoefer,  Jimmy  Dieterich  and 
Jim  Brown,  who  had  also  opened  an  agency  right  after  the  war.   Great 
guys,  whom  I'd  known  at  Cal,  also.   I  went  to  work  for  them  at  two  and 
a  quarter  and  Maggie  almost  wouldn't  let  me  in  the  house.   She  couldn't 
believe  I'd  taken  a  job  for  twenty-five  bucks  a  month  less.   But  it 
seemed  to  have  a  lot  more  possibilities.   So  I  worked  there  a  couple 
of  years,  while  everybody  was  starving  to  death,  including  the  princi 
pals.   Today,  though,  Hoefer,  Dieterich  and  Brown,  Inc.  is  one  of  the 
biggest  agencies  in  the  city. 

I  finally  decided  I  have  got  to  make  four  hundred  bucks  a  month — 
I  just  cannot  support  my  family — if  I  have  to  get  a  job  driving  a 
truck.   I  looked  at  some  of  the  big  agencies  and  went  to  BBD&O  [Batten, 
Barton,  Durstine,  &  Osborn,  Inc.]. 

I  remember  Chuck  Ferguson  was  the  manager  and  he  said,  "Well, 
what  have  you  done?"   I  said,  "Well,  you  know  in  a  small  agency  you 
do  everything.   I've  been  an  art  director,  I've  been  a  copywriter, 
I've  bought  some  media."  He  said,  "Did  you  ever  sell  anything?" 
I  said,  "Actually,  one  of  our  clients  was  Hooper's  Chocolates,  the 
handmade  candy  place.   We  were  also  their  wholesale  distributors. 
So  each  of  us  would  take  one  day  of  the  week  and  we'd  load  the  car 
full  of  candy  and  go  call  on  retail  outlets  and  try  to  get  distribu 
tion  for  their  candy."  That's  the  first  time  he  listened  to  me,  and 
it  had  nothing  to  do  with  whether  I  was  an  artist  or  a  writer  or  media 
guy  or  anything  else.   If  I'd  sold  something  I'd  had  some  experience, 
so  he  hired  me.   I  was  there  for,  I  guess,  about  twelve  years. 

The  great  corporate  world.   BBD&O 's  clients  were  the  telephone 
company  and  PG&E  and  Standard  Oil  and  California  Cling  Peaches,  MJB 
Coffee,  the  biggest  blue  chip  accounts  on  the  coast.   So  I  was  really 
into  the  great  corporate  world  for  a  dozen  years  or  so. 

Stein:   What  did  you  do  for  them? 

Warren:   I  was  an  account  executive  eventually,  after  the  first  six  months  of 

a  sort  of  a  training  program.   I  was  an  account  executive  on  the  tele 
phone  account  for  about  eight  years,  then  one  year  on  Bank  of  America 
and  two  years  on  Standard  Oil. 

You  get  to  that  great  point  of  no  return  in  the  corporate  world 
where  you  either  decide  you're  going  to  go  the  corporate  route  and, 
if  everything  goes  right,  you  may  become  a  vice-president,  and  all 

James  Warren 


Warren:   that  sort  of  business,  or  make  the  break.  I  had  seen  what  had  happened 
to  five  guys  ahead  of  me  on  the  Standard  Oil  account,  which  was  the 
biggest  account  on  the  coast  at  that  time,  I  was  the  number  two  man 
on  the  Standard  account,  and  from  there  you  either  become  group  super 
visor  on  Standard  or  else  you're  transferred  to  another  office,  because 
there's  nothing  bigger  in  San  Francisco  they  could  put  you  on.  You 
know,  New  York,  Chicago,  Minneapolis,  Los  Angeles,  and  I  had  no  stomach 
for  that. 

The  Decision  to  Leave  Advertising 

Warren:  We,  in  the  meantime,  had  found  this  place  up  here  where  we  now  live, 
as  a  little  weekend  place.  I  realized  that  in  the  Napa  Valley  every 
thing  is  the  land;  you've  got  to  be  involved  with  the  land  in  some  way 
or  another,  either  grow  something  on  it  or  be  part  of  the  land  in  some 
other  way.   So  I  went  to  night  school  and  got  my  real  estate  license, 
without  knowing  whether  I  was  going  to  use  it  or  not,  but  just  as  a 
precaution,  because  I  could  see  how  things  were  culminating  in  the 
agency,  corporate  business.   I  loved  BBD&O  but  these  huge  corporations 
that  were  our  clients — they're  just  like  the  service.  Everybody's  on 
a  certain  level. 

I  came  to  the  conclusion  that  most  of  the  decisions  were  made  on 
the  basis  of  fear.   Really,  people  are  trying  to  please  the  boss  or 
they're  trying  to  outdo  the  guy  on  the  same  level,  and  they're  scared 
to  death  of  the  younger  people  coming  up  underneath  them  and  they  don't 
make  decisions  based  on  whether  it's  the  right  decision  but  whether 
it's  the  safe  decision.  After  a  while  this  gets  to  you.  So  we  finally 
made  our  decision.  We  moved  up  here  and  I  went  into  agricultural  real 

Awfully  sweaty  palms  for  the  first  couple  of  years. 
Stein:   By  that  time  you  had  three  children? 

Warren:  By  that  time  we  had  all  three  boys.  The  third  one  was  born  on  June  25, 
1950,  the  day  the  Korean  War  broke  out.  You  know,  everybody's  number 
was  coining  up  again.  We  didn't  know  what  was  going  to  happen  for  a 
while.   I  think  they  called  the  guys  in  my  class  at  Quantico  but  because 
I  had  gone  through  this  4-F  thing  and  had  come  into  the  Marine  Corps  as 
a  commissioned  officer,  my  serial  number  was  lower  than  the  others  in 
my  class.   So  they  called  some  of  them  up  again  but  I  didn't  have  to 
go  back. 

Stein:   That  was  lucky. 
Warren :  Yes . 

James  Warren 


Stein:   Did  you  consult  with  your  father  at  all  about  that  career  shift? 

Warren:  Yes.   Of  course  I  told  him  what  was  going  through  my  mind,  what  I  was 
thinking  about.   Again  this  was  another  example:   it  didn't  make  any 
difference  whether  you're  knee-high  to  a  grasshopper  or  a  grown  man, 
he  listened  and  he  counseled  but  he  never  advised.   I  still  have  the 
letter  that  he  wrote  some  time  afterwards  saying  that,  while  this  is 
a  decision  a  man  has  to  make  for  himself,  the  one  thing  he  respected 
was  that  once  I  made  up  my  mind  I  had  the  courage  to  go  through  with 
it.   There  was  nothing  better  he  could  have  said,  nothing  that  could 
have  made  me  feel  better  than  when  he  said  that,  because  I  never  knew 
whether  he  thought  it  was  a  good  decision  or  a  bad  decision  or  a  dumb 
one  or  a  smart  one.   He  never  intruded. 

Three  generations  of  Warrens:   Governor  Earl  Warren  and  his  son  James  C.  Warren  admire  the  first 
Warren  grandchild,  James  Lee,  born  in  March  1943. 

The  Warrens  with  their  first  grandchild,  James  Lee,  ca.  1946.   James  Lee's 
parents,  James  C.  and  Maggie  Warren,  are  in  rear. 


The  James  C.  Warren  family,  about  1957.   Front  row:   James  Lee,  John  (Jocko),  Jeff.   Back  row: 
James  C. ,  Maggie. 

A  Warren  family  gathering  at  the  James  Warren  ranch  in  St.  Helena,  California,  Christmas,  1960. 
Front  row,  seated:   Tawny  (dog);  Jeff  Warren  (James's  son);  Earl  Warren  III  (Earl  Jr.'s  son);  Nina 
Warren;  Earl  Warren  with  Ross  Warrei)  (Earl  Jr.'s  son)  on  lap;  Wendy  Warren  (Earl  Jr.'s  daughter); 
John  Warren  (James's  son)  with  dummy.   Back  row,  standing:   James  Warren;  Maggie  Warren  (Mrs.  James); 
John  Daly;  Virginia  Warren  Daly;  John  Charles  Daly;  Dotty  Warren  Clemente;  Patty  Warren  (Mrs.  Earl, 
Jr.);  John  Neil  Daly;  Earl  Warren,  Jr.;  Carmen  Clemente;  James  C.  Warren. 

James  warren 



Stein:   Did  your  children  get  to  know  him  well  as  a  grandfather? 

Warren:   Oh  yes,  yes.   In  fact,  he  and  my  mother  made  a  point  as  the  kids  got 
to  a  certain  age — it  seemed  to  vary  upon  how  mature  the  kids  were, 
somewhere  between  twelve  and  fourteen — every  summer  they  would  take 
one  of  the  grandchildren  back  to  Washington  for  about  two  or  three 
weeks.   The  kids  saw  everything  there  was  to  see  in  Washington  that 
was  of  any  historical  moment  at  all.   And  that  gets  pretty  heavy  when 
there  are  fourteen  grandchildren  around,  and  now  there  are  sixteen, 
I  guess.   But  every  one  of  the  kids  of  all  of  the  families  spent  some 
time  back  there  to  the  extent  that  they  could  accommodate  them.   They 
got  to  know  their  grandchildren  as  well  as  it's  humanly  possible. 

And  they  maintained  close  contact  throughout  the  years,  too.   For 
example,  Dad  would  have  all  his  grandchildren  send  him  their  report 
cards  and  he'd  send  them  a  buck  for  each  "A"  and,  I  think,  $5  for  each 
semester  they  stayed  on  the  honor  roll.   And  there  was  always  a  note 
of  congratulations  with  each  check  and  a  few  comments  about  their 
various  activities. 

Then  every  Christmas — I  think  the  happiest  season  of  the  year 
for  them  was  to  come  out  to  California  and  get  the  families  together 
for  Christmas.   I  remember  one  of  the  later  ones.  We,  being  the 
oldest,  we  started  the  thing.  They'd  come  to  our  place  first  and 
then  as  the  other  kids  got  married — eventually  we  switched  around 
some  and  we'd  have  Christmas  Eve  at  our  place  and  Christmas  Day  at 
Bob's.   But  for  many  years  Maggie  and  I  had  it. 

At  one  of  the  later  ones  up  here  at  the  ranch,  I  remember  Dad 
standing  in  the  kitchen  and  the  whole  family  running  all  over  the 
house  and  his  telling  me  how  much  he  enjoyed  Christmases  and  how  much 
it  meant  to  him  to  be  together  with  the  family,  and  that  the  one  thing 
he  regretted  in  his  life  was  that  he  would  never  be  in  the  position  to 
leave  anything  to  the  kids;  that  he  had  never  made  any  money  in  public 

James  Warren 


Warren:   service.  He  said,  "You  know,  in  public  service  you  just  can't  make 
any  money,"  and  his  one  regret  was,  "I  have  nothing  to  leave  to  you 
kids."  I  would  have  burst  out  laughing  if  I  hadn't  had  tears  in  my 
eyes.   Because  of  all  the  things  that  anybody  can  leave  to  anybody 
I  can't  imagine  who  could  have  left  more. 

Stein:   Yes.   It  seems  to  me  that  I  came  across  a  couple  of  newspaper  clippings 
that  mentioned  that  he  was  coming  out  here  to  play  Santa  Glaus  to  the 
family  reunion. 

Warren:  Yes.   And  the  numbers  kept  getting  larger  every  year,  of  course. 
[Laughter.]   I  used  to  feel  for  those  photographers  who'd  have  to 
come  out  and  get  that  mob  to  stand  still  at  the  same  place  at  the 
same  time  while  they  took  that  picture. 

Stein:   And  smile  at  the  same  time.   In  my  reading,  I  came  across  some  mention 
of  a  letter  that  your  father  wrote  to  one  of  your  sons.* 

Warren:  That  was  to  Jeff. 

Stein:    Could  you  tell  me  about  it? 

Warren:   I  know  Jeff  has  a  copy  of  the  letter;  I  hope  we  do.  Jeff  is  our 
middle  son,  and  he  was  at  Berkeley  during  all  the  worst  of  it, 
People's  Park  and  the  march,  when  all  of  these  feelings  of  social 
injustice  and  the  like  were  so  rampant  on  the  campuses.   Jeff  wrote 
his  grandfather  a  letter.   Weeks  went  by  and  nothing  happened,  and 
Jeff  thought  he  never  even  got  it  or  Mama  Warren  wouldn't  show  it 
to  him.  He  thought,  "I'll  never  hear  anything  back  from  that."  Then 
he  got  the  letter. 

Stein:   What  did  he  say  in  the  letter?  What  was  the  gist  of  it? 

Warren:  The  basic  unfairness  of  racial  inequality  and  unequal  opportunity. 
Jeff  was  an  athlete  and  he  roomed  with  black  roommates  and  became 
very  conscious  of  all  of  the  things  that  were  going  on  at  the  campuses 
at  that  time.   It  all  had  to  do  with  the  inequality  of  opportunity 
and  social  injustice  and  prejudices  and  discrimination  and  unfair 
treatment  of  the  minorities  and  all  this  sort  of  thing.   What  a 
terrible  world  it  is  if  these  things  can  go  on. 

*Excerpts  of  Jeff  Warren's  letter,  and  Earl  Warren's  reply,  are  in 
John  Weaver,  "Happy  Birthday,  Earl  Warren;  What  Say  You  to  Those  Who 
Come  Next,"  in  West  Magazine,  Los  Angeles  Times,  3/8/70. 

James  Warren 


Warren:       But  the  letter  that  he  got  back  from  his  grandfather  was  a  classic. 
I've  seen  it  reprinted,  maybe  by  John  Weaver,  in  a  Sunday  supplement, 
I'm  not  sure.   But  it  was  worth  waiting  for.  As  I  say,  I  don't  know 
if  we  have  a  copy.   If  we  do  and  you'd  like  to  see  it  we'd  be  happy  to 
let  you  have  it. 

Stein:   Was  this  the  same  son  who  went  to  Mississippi? 

Warren:  Well,  this  same  Jeff  went  to — he  wasn't  in  Mississippi.  He  lived  with 
a  black  family  during  the  summer.  Where  was  it — one  of  the  Carolinas 
— anyway,  it  was  in  the  south.   He  was  a  student  teacher  involved  in 
teaching  the  kids  and  coaching  them  and  anything  that  had  to  do  with 
this  program.   It  was  sponsored  by  the  university  I  think,  or  by  some 
offshoot  of  the  university.   But  he  said  it's  a  real  trick  to  be  on 
the  other  side  of  the  line  where  everyone  around  is  black  and  you're 
the  only  white  one  in  the  room.   [Laughter.]   At  least  he  had  the 
courage  to  do  something  about  it.  He  and  his  grandfather  were  very 

Jeff  later  on  went  to  Europe,  after  Cal.  He  worked  his  way 
through  Europe,  digging  ditches  and  tending  bar  and  making  beds  or 
whatever.  A  couple  of  times,  when  he  was  there,  my  mother  and  dad 
were  coming  through  on  some  sort  of  official  business  and  they  saw 
each  other  a  good  deal  over  there.  They  were  very  intimate. 

James  Warren 



Stein:   To  switch  gears  a  bit,  the  last  area  I  want  to  explore  is  your 

father's  political  campaigns  and  his  involvement  in  politics.  I 
wondered  if  you  ever  got  involved  in  any  of  that. 

Warren:  All  of  the  boys  in  the  family  stayed  as  far  away  from  that  as  we 
properly  could.  The  girls  went  on  the  campaign  trips.  That's  a 
different  animal.  The  only  thing  that  Dad  ever  asked  me  to  do  that 
I  sort  of — what's  the  word;  I  didn't  recoil,  I  bridled — I  didn't 
want  to  have  to  do,  but  of  course  I  did  as  soon  as  it  was  explained — 
When  I  was  at  Cal,  I  guess  they  were  mobilizing — this  is  before  the 
war,  but  the  country  was  mobilizing  and  they  asked  me  to  pose  for  a 
series  of  pictures  about  how  you  go  in  and  how  you  volunteer  and  how 
you  register  and  how  you  sign  up  and  then  try  on  the  uniform  and  all 
this  sort  of  stuff  and  there  was  a  sequence  of  pictures  that  came  out. 
It  was  the  last  thing  in  the  world  I  wanted  to  do  but  I  did  get 
involved  to  that  extent.  That  was  not  volunteering.   [Laughter.] 

Stein:   How  is  it  that  the  girls  were  so  active  in  politics? 

Warren:   I  think  for  years  anybody  who  knew  anything  about  the  family  thought 
that  Earl  and  Nina  Warren  had  three  daughters.   I  don't  think  anybody 
knew  they  had  any  sons. 

Stein:   Did  the  girls  really  enjoy  the  campaigning? 

Warren:  I  think  so.  They  got  to  travel  around  a  lot.  At  some  point  Maggie 
and  I  joined  a  campaign  train.   I  think  we  went  up  to  Oregon.   I've 
forgotten  how  we  got  there,  whether  we  flew  up  and  came  down  on  the 
train  or  what.   But  this  was  just  being  a  member  of  the  family  and 
being  aboard;  we  didn't  do  anything. 

Stein:   That  must  have  been  when  he  was  running  for  vice-president  in  1948, 
because  that  was  the  only  time  he  would  have  been  outside  the  state. 

James  Warren 


Warren:  I  guess  that  would  be  right.  Yes.   I'll  never  forget  the  night  the 
[Tom]  Dewey-Warren  ticket — the  night  of  the  election.   It  was  such 
a  foregone  conclusion  [that  they  would  win]  in  the  minds  of  all  the 
pros,  and  all  the  toasts  were  being  made  and  all  that  sort  of  stuff 
at  the  Fairmont  Hotel,  I  remember.   But  as  the  returns  started  coming 
in  and  as  it  became  apparent  that  the  Democrats  had  swept  both  houses, 
and  I  guess  there  was  still  an  outside  chance,  just  a  vestige  of  a 
chance,  that  maybe  Dewey  might  still  be  elected,  I  remember  Dad  saying 
it  would  be  wrong  for  the  country.   "If  we  got  back  there,"  he  said, 
"they'd  just  tear  our  guts  out." 

Stein:   He  was  right  in  predicting  the  outcome. 

Warren : 


Warren : 

Boy,  that  was  a  long  walk  through  the  corridor  back  to  the  parking 
lot.   But  in  my  own  mind  I  have  always  thought  that  what  happened 
just  happened;  he  had  no  intention  of  becoming  a  vice-presidential 
candidate  when  he  went  back  there.   In  fact,  I  remember  I  was  at  the 
office  of  BBD&O  and  Pete  Motheral,  the  boss,  came  in  and  said,  "Hey, 
what's  this  I  just  heard  about  your  dad?"  I  said,  "What's  that?"  He 
said,  "He's  just  been  nominated  for  vice-president  and  accepted  it." 
I  said,  "You're  kidding;  he  wouldn't." 

I  was  told  of  the  nomination  by  somebody  else, 
thought  that  it  was  an  obligation  or  duty. 

And  I've  always 

That's  what  I  gather  from  reading.   Were  you,  in  your  own  political 
development,  influenced  by  his  being  in  the  Republican  party? 

Oh,  I  guess  you  can't  say  no  to  that.   Sure.  Although,  I  suppose  the 
truth  of  the  matter  is  that  when  you're  a  kid  growing  up  you  don't 
pay  attention  to  it  one  way  or  the  other;  you  just  sort  of  do  what 
your  family's  doing  anyway.   You  never  stop  to  think  about  it.   But 
then  his  non-partisanship  was  such  a  unique  phenomenon  nobody  could 
believe  that  people  could  be  this  way.   And  he  really  was. 

I  can  remember  walking  with  him  along  the  street  during  his 
third  campaign  for  governor.  We  were  walking  up  Bush  Street  in  San 
Francisco  and  some  fellow  coming  from  the  other  direction  yelled, 
"Hey  Earl,  hi!"  Dad  replied,  "Hello,  Charlie,"  (I'll  call  him)  "how 
are  you?"  And  Charlie  said,  "By  golly,  Earl,  this  time  we're  out  to 
get  you."  Earl  said,  "I  know  you  are,  Charlie.  You've  tried  twice 
before.   That's  what  makes  horse  racing.   How's  Mabel?"   "Fine.   How's 
Nina?"  "Fine."  And  he  walked  up  the  street.   Dad  said,  "He's  been 
the  chairman  of  the  Democratic  party  in  California  for  years."  It 
was  the  most  friendly,  most  open  conversation,  no  bitterness,  no 
nastiness.  People  just  don't  believe  that  men  like  this  are  around. 

James  Warren 


Stein:   I've  read  about  Earl,  Jr,  and  the  story  of  his  own  political 

development,  when  he  finally  decided  to  switch  to  the  Democratic 
party,  feeling  that  he  was  still  in  his  father's  tradition  but 
just  that  the  Republican  party  had  moved  so  far  in  another  direction 
that  it  no  longer  really  stood  for  what  his  father  stood  for. 

Warren:  That's  exactly  what  Earl  thought,  and  I  think  Dad  always  respected 
him  for  it.   [Pause.]  Now  you've  probably  read  this  a  thousand 
times,  but  he  did  refer  to  it  so  often — whenever  anything  came  up, 
no  matter  how  thin  you  slice  it,  there's  always  two  sides  to  a 
pancake.   He  believed  it;  he  lived  it. 

Stein:   One  of  the  things  I  wanted  to  check  out  with  you  is  something  that 
appeared  in  the  Sacramento  Bee  where  CBS  reported  that,  according 
to  former  Supreme  Court  Justice  Arthur  Goldberg,  Earl  Warren  had 
been  denied  admission  to  Bethesda  Naval  Hospital. 

Warren:  You  mean  before  he  died? 

Stein:  This  was  shortly  before  he  died. 

Warren:  We  heard  that,  too. 

Stein:  It  was  alleged  to  be  because  of  Nixon's  inaction. 

Warren:  We  have  heard  that  story  but  I  don't  know  where  it  came  from  other 
than  something  like  that.   If  that  was  so  it's  quite  a  shocker. 

Stein:   You  have  no  independent  information  that  would  confirm  or  deny  that? 

Warren:  No.  We  saw  him  in  the  hospital.   In  fact,  we  were  talking  about  Jeff 
who  was  working  in  New  York  at  the  time,  and  still  is,  in  fact.  When 
Dad  had  this  angina  thing — it  was  known  some  months  before,  and  he 
was  cutting  down  on  everything — and  then  he  went  into  the  hospital. 
He  was  in  the  hospital  for  a  while  and  when  he  came  home  they  had 
oxygen  tanks  in  the  apartment  and  all  that.  We'd  keep  calling  and 
asking  should  we  come  back.   My  mother  would  say,  "No.   There's  no 
need  to  come  back;  he's  all  right.   I'm  taking  care  of  him  and  I  don't 
want  him  to  start  worrying  by  having  the  family  come  from  all  over." 

But  then  he  went  back  into  the  hospital  once  too  often,  and  I 
think  this  was  on  a  Tuesday  that  I  was  talking  to  my  mother  about  him, 
and  he'd  just  gone  in.   Maggie  and  I  talked  and  I  said  I'd  better  get 
back  there.  Maggie  couldn't  go  because  her  mother  was  in  the  hospital, 
too.   So  I  called  Jeff  in  New  York  and  said,  "I'm  on  such  and  such  a 
flight  and  I'm  coming  into  Washington  tomorrow,  Wednesday  afternoon." 
And  Jeff  says,  "So  am  I."  He  didn't  know  I  was  coming,  and  I  didn't 
know  he  was  going.   So  we  met  at  the  airport  and  stayed  overnight 
with  my  mother.   It  was  too  late  to  go  to  the  hospital. 

James  Warren 


Warren : 


Warren : 


Jeff  and  I  went  down  the  next  morning  and  we  saw  Dad,  This 
would  have  been  on  Thursday  and  we  went  back  again  on  Friday.   He 
and  Jeff  had  one  of  the  greatest  talks  about  anything  and  everything 
from  sports  to  the  latest  decision  of  the  court.  The  more  they 
talked  the  more  Dad  came  to  life.  And  we  had  that  little  reading 
I  alluded  to  earlier.  He  was  really  sort  of  skin  and  bones  at  the 
time;  he  didn't  look  well  at  all.   But  when  we  left  on  Friday  he 
actually  stood  up  and  clapped  his  hands  and  said,  "Well  fellas,  see 
you  the  next  time  you're  back  here." 

We  came  home  and  he  died  on  Tuesday.  This  was  on  Friday.  We 
were  so  glad  that  we  got  back  there.  He  was  really  very  much  alive 
and  alert.   Just  physically  beat. 

That's  all  the  questions  I  have. 
[Telephone  interruption.] 

Is  there  anything  you  want  to  add? 

Well,  Dad  told  a  very  interesting  little  anecdote  to  Jeff  and  me  the 
last  time  we  saw  him,  how  close  he  came  to  giving  up  the  law.   He 
said  when  he  first  started  practicing  he,  too,  was  aware  of  all  the 
injustices  and  the  bribes  and  the  payoffs  and  the  things  going  on 
around  him.   He  became  very  disenchanted  at  one  point.   But  he  was 
asked  to  deliver  a  letter — he  was  a  courier,  I  mean  acting  as  a 
courier  to  deliver  a  letter — to  the  then-state  supreme  court  chief 
justice.  He  said  here  he  was  just  a  young  kid  in  his  early  twenties. 
He  went  up  to  the  chief  justice's  office  and  opened  the  door. 

He  [Warren]  said,  "I  was  in  this  magnificent  mansion.  Actually 
the  room  wasn't  any  bigger  than  this  hospital  room  we're  sitting  in 
right  now,  but  to  me  at  the  time  it  looked  like  a  palace.  Here  was 
this  man  sitting  behind  this  imposing  desk,  and  he  looked  up  and  he 
said,  'Mr.  Warren?'  and  I  said,  'Yes.'   He  stood  up  from  behind  the 
desk,  walked  around,  shook  my  hand,  introduced  himself  to  me.   The 
impression  was  so  great,"  he  [Warren]  said,  "that  it  changed  my  entire 

"What  has  happened,"  he  said,  "is  there's  such  an  absence  of 
manners  in  the  world  now,  that  people  just — I'm  not  talking  about 
pulling-chairs-out-for-ladies-when-they-sit-down  type  of  thing,  but 
just  open  decency  and  good  manners  among  people."  And  then  he 
recounted  this  story.   If  this  judge  hadn't  done  that  he  may  very 
well  have  become  so  disillusioned  that  he  would  have  dropped  the 

That's  interesting.   I've  read  that  he  had  never  planned  on  staying  in 
the  DA's  office  for  very  long.  He  had  thought  of  it  as  a  stepping 

Warren:   Could  be. 

James  Warren 


Stein:   And  then  he  just  got  so  involved  that  he  never  left. 

Warren:  Well,  I've  always  maintained  this.   Other  people  have  said  I'm  naive, 
and  Maggie  among  them.   But  I  had  always  contended  that  he  was  never 
a  politician,  that  he  started  out  as  a  law  enforcement  officer.   I 
had  always  imagined  as  a  kid  growing  up  that  the  greatest  office 
anybody  could  aspire  to,  the  biggest  position  in  that  field,  would 
be  United  States  Attorney  General.   I  didn't  even  know  it  was  an 
appointed  office. 

I  thought,  boy,  if  you're  elected  DA,  then  you're  elected  state 
attorney  general  and  you  go  from  there  into  the  FBI  or  the  attorney 
generalship,  that's  got  to  be  the  deepest  thing  in  law  enforcement 
that  you  can  get  into.   I  had  always  thought  that  would  have  been 
his  choice  and  that  this  whole  business  of  having  become  governor 
during  the  war  was  really  a  matter  of  having  to  do  something  because 
the  state  was  in  such  dire  straits  when  the  war  was  going  on  that  he 
changed  direction  for  the  duration  like  everybody  else  did  who  got 
into  uniform.   He  did  what  he  had  to  do.   And  the  fact  that  a  polit 
ical  career  came  out  of  it  was  something  that  I  felt  he  took  on  as 
an  obligation  rather  than  as  a  matter  of  choice.  But  there  are  a  lot 
of  people,  I  guess,  who  don't  think  that  that's  the  way  people  are. 
As  I  say,  maybe  I  was  just  naive. 

James  Warren 



Stein:   There  are  a  lot  of  people  who  wonder  about  his  evolution  from  law 

enforcement  officer  in  Alameda  County  to  Supreme  Court  Chief  Justice. 

Warren:  Yes.  And  I  don't  think  there's  any  better  example  of  it  than  whoever 
it  was  that  described — maybe  it  was  John  Weaver — that  the  higher  you 
go  up  a  mountain  the  more  your  perspective  changes.  You  can  be  the 
same  person  but  you  see  things  from  a  different  point  of  view.  His 
[Warren's]  feeling  about  representation  in  northern  and  southern 
California  when  he  was  governor  was  one  thing.   And  when  one  man, 
one  vote  came  later  on,  which  appeared  to  be  a  hundred  and  eighty 
degree  switch — it's  not  uncommon  in  a  person  like  this.   You've  got 
a  different  job  with  different  obligations — boy,  if  anybody  knew  at 
the  age  of  twenty-five  what  he  knew  at  forty-five  nobody  would  make 
any  mistakes,  wouldn't  make  any  bad  judgments. 

Stein:   The  remarkable  thing  is  that  he  seems  to  have  learned  from  all  that. 
If  he  made  mistakes  or  bad  judgments  or  whatever,  he  seems  to  have 
remembered  it  all.   It  all  went  into  the  hopper. 

Warren:   Did  anybody  talk  to  Edward  Bennett  Williams  or  do  you  know  if  anybody 
plans  to,  as  far  as  his  most  recent  years — 

Stein:   I  don't  think  so.   Is  he  an  important  person  to  talk  to? 

Warren:  He's  an  attorney  in  Washington.  He  also  owns  the  Washington  Redskins. 
He's  taken  on  a  lot  of  controversial  clients  but  he's  in  the  forefront 
of  the  equal  justice  concept  as  far  as  what's  fair  under  the  law.   Ed 
gave  one  of  the  eulogies  when  the  court  adopted  a  proclamation  [after 
Warren's  death]  and  his  concept  of  Earl  Warren  was  just  fantastic. 
He's  what  you'd  call  a  lawyer's  lawyer.   I  would  imagine  that  if 
anybody  wanted  to  talk  to  people  who  really  knew  the  man,  Edward 
Bennett  Williams  would  be  one  of  the  guys  you'd  want  to  include. 

Stein:   Yes,  that's  a  good  suggestion. 

James  Warren 


Warren:   Eric  Severeid  wrote  a  magnificent  eulogy  in  one  of  the  books  about 
him.   There  aren't  too  many  people  who  knew  him — well,  I  shouldn't 
say  there  aren't  too  many  people.   I  guess  among  the  people  who  didn't 
know  him  well  you'll  get  a  different  reaction  than  from  those  who  knew 
him  intimately.   People  just  don't  believe  that  there  are  men  around 
who  are  that  decent . 

1  don't  know  if  you  got  it  in  any  of  your  anecdotes — well,  this 
is,  again,  after  California,  but  it  shows  the  mark  of  the  man.  The 
first  time  Maggie  and  I  went  back  to  Washington  my  mother  put  up  a 
bed  in  my  dad's  library  for  us.  On  the  wall  there  is  framed  his 
appointment  duly  signed  by  President  Eisenhower,  his  appointment  as 
Chief  Justice,  and  right  underneath  it  is  the  original  of  the  Inter- 
landi  cartoon  that  appeared  in  the  New  Yorker;  Whistler's  mother 
embroidering,  "Impeach  Earl  Warren."   [Laughter.]   That's  hanging 
on  the  wall  right  underneath  the  appointment.   Mother  said,  "Dad 
thinks  it's  funny."   [Laughter.]  But  he  always  did  have  a  really 
basic  sense  of  humor. 

To  meet  those  justices  back  there  was  one  of  the  most  inspiring 
things  I've  ever  gone  through.  We  went  back  there  for  a  week.  My 
mother  and  dad  had  given  us  a  couple  of  suitcases  as  a  Christmas 
present  and  Dad  said,  "Now  Jim,  these  aren't  going  to  do  you  any  good 
sitting  in  a  closet  collecting  dust.  We  want  you  to  pack  them  up  and 
come  on  back  there  and  see  us."  He  said,  "As  a  matter  of  fact,  in 
January  there's  a" — this  was  at  Christmas — "in  January  there's  going 
to  be  a  dinner  back  there,  the  Alfalfa  dinner.  We  can  bring  guests 
to  it,  so  if  there's  any  way  you  and  Maggie  can  get  back  there,  you're 

So  we  made  it  work;  we  made  the  effort.   We  went  back  there  and 
spent  a  week.   The  court  was  in  session  and  we  all  went  in  for  the 
first  day  and  listened  to  them  and  then  broke  for  lunch.   Then  the 
Court  comes  back  again  for  a  couple  of  hours  in  the  afternoon,  which 
I  did,  too.   The  others  did  something  else.   The  next  morning,  and 
every  morning  that  I  was  there,  I  just  went  down  to  the  court  with 
Dad  and  sat  there  and  listened  to  every  single  case  that  they  argued 
all  day  long. 

It's  an  incredible  experience.  These  men  are  so — if  you  want  to 
get  an  impression  of  fair-mindedness  and  openness  and  decency  and  what 
really  looking  for  a  solution  to  a  problem — 

I  remember  being  amazed  too — Mother  and  Dad  were  out  here  on  one 
occasion  sitting  around  on  our  patio  up  there  when  the  phone  rang. 
It  was  for  Dad.   He  came  back  and  he  said,  "By  golly,  Nina,  they've 
appointed  Abe  Fortas  as  the  new  justice."  And  he  didn't  even  know  it. 
He  got  the  word  after  the  appointment  had  been  made.   He  was  delighted. 
He  said,  "He's  a  good  man."  The  goings  on  of  the  court,  the  facts  and 
the  impressions  that  people  have  are  so  different. 

James  Warren 


Stein:   Since  you  were  there  watching  him  every  day  I  thought  I'd  ask  you 
this.   One  thing  that  a  number  of  people  comment  on  is  how  warm  he 
managed  to  be,  even  as  Chief  Justice,  despite  the  enormous  formality 
of  that  whole  situation:   the  high  bench  and  the  quiet  in  the  room 
and  the  very  august  surroundings. 

Warren:  Yes,  he  was  very  friendly.  He  made  these  attorneys  coming  up  there 
just  feel  at  home.   They've  got  to  be  under  an  enormous  strain, 
especially  the  young  ones  coming  up  who  haven't  appeared  there  before. 
He  always  made  it  a  point  to  call  them  by  name ,  and  I  suppose  if  he 
could  have  found  anything  about  them  ahead  of  time  he  did,  to  throw 
in  an  anecdote  here  and  there.   It's  overwhelming  in  the  sense  that 
the  things  they  talk  about  are  so  heavy. 

[Tape  2,  side  2] 

Stein:   Is  there  anything  more  that  we  should  add?   [Long  pause.] 

Warren:   Well,  I  think  probably  the  thing  would  be — with  the  exception  of  Earl, 
who  would  have  some  really  pithy  things  to  talk  about,  as  far  as 
mutual  or  parallel  careers  or  whatever  else  are  concerned — I  think 
you'd  find  that  with  the  boys  most  of  it  was  just  what  an  uncommon 
thing  it  was  to  have  a  father  like  that,  of  such  prominence,  who  was 
also  such  a  regular  guy.  Also  the  fact  that  he  always  encouraged 
everybody  to  go  his  own  way ,  to  go  after  his  own  bent  without  any 
sort  of  arm  twisting,  and  this  whole  concept  of  don't  ever  settle  for 
being  average.   I  don't  care  what  it  is  that  you  do,  but  when  you  do 
it,  do  it  better  than  anybody  else.  These  were  never  pep  talks;  they 
were  just  good  solid  guiding  principles. 

Stein:   Well,  I'd  like  to  thank  you  for  spending  the  whole  afternoon  tape- 
recording.   It  will  be  a  valuable  addition  to  the  Warren  project. 

Transcriber:   Michelle  Guilbeault 
Final  Typist:  Marilyn  Ham 


INDEX  —  James  Warren 

Becker,  Burton,   24 

Boone,  Phil,   39 

Brien,  Nina  Warren,   14,  29,  46 

Brown,  Jim,    40 

Daly,  John,   2 

Daly,  Virginia  Warren,   2,  8,  30,  46 
Del  Monte  Military  Academy,   5 
Deutsch,  Dean  Monroe  E.,    18 
Dieterich,  Jimmy,   40 

Ferguson,  Chuck,   40 
Fortas,  Abe,   52 

Goldberg,  Arthur,    48 

Harlan,  John  Marshall,    11-12 
Hitchcock,  Harold,    10 
Hoefer,  John,   40 

La  Junta  Club,   20 

Meyers,  Cleve,   7 
Motheral,  Pete,    47 

Nixon,  Richard,   48 

Palmquist,  Eva,   29 

Palmquist,  Nana,   4 

Plank,  Bud,   28 

Plank,  Ethel,   28,  29 

political  campaigns: 

1948  presidential,   47 
1950  gubernatorial,   47 


Severeid,  Eric,   52 
shipboard  murder  case,   24 
Shor,  Toots,   16 

University  of  California  at  Berkeley: 
fraternities,   20 

Golden  Bear,   17-18 
Skull  &  Keys,    18-19 
Winged  Helmet,   17 

Warren,  Dorothy,    46 

Warren,  Earl,  '  1-2,  6-7,  11-14,  16-33,  36,  42,  43-45,  48-53 

as  chief  justice,    11-12 

as  district  attorney  and  attorney  general,   24-25,  49-50 

eulogies,   51-52 

political  campaigns,   46-47 
Warren,  Earl,  Jr.,    12,  26,  29,  48 
Warren,  James: 

athletics,   9-10,  19 

birth,  1 

career  in  advertising,   39-42 

career  in  real  estate,   41-43 

military  academy,   4-8 

military  service,    35-37 

public  school  education,   8-13 

University  of  California,    15-20 
Warren,  James,  Jr.,   3,  21-22 
Warren,  Jeff,   18,  19,  21,  40,  44-45,  48-49 
Warren,  John  (Jocko) ,   21-23 

Warren,  Margaret,    1,  7,  21,  31-32,  36,  38,  43,  48,  50,  52 
Warren,  Nina,    1-4,  6-7,  21,  25-27,  31-32,  46,  52 
Warren,  Nina  "Honey  Bear".    See  Brien,  Nina  Warren 
Warren,  Robert,    12,  14,  29-30,  43 
Warren,  Virginia.    See  Daly,  Virginia  Warren 
Weaver,  John,    2,  19,  28,  31,  51 
Williams,  Edward  Bennett,   51 

Regional  Oral  History  Office  University  of  California 

The  Bancroft  Library  Berkeley,  California 

Earl  Warren  Oral  History  Project 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

An  Interview  Conducted  by 
Amelia  Fry 
in  1970 

Copyright    (c)   1980  by  The  Regents  of  the  University  of  California 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

TABLE  OF  CONTENTS  —  Earl  Warren,  Jr. 



Life  in  the  Governor's  Mansion  1 

The  Warrens'  Southern  California  Residence  11 

College  at  Davis  13 

Decision  to  go  into  Law  17 


First  Campaigns  of  Earl  Warren,  Jr.  20 

Democratic  and  Republican  Parties  Compared  22 



1948  Race  40 

1952  Race  42 



Robert  Kenny  47 

Fred  F.  Houser  48 

Harry  Truman  49 

Tom  Kuchel  50 



Use  of  Expertise  56 

The  Loyalty  Oath  56 

Max  Radin's  Appointment  57 

APPENDIX  -  Interview  with  Earl  Warren,  Jr.,  on  his  father's  career, 

retirement,  and  family  life.   Sacramento,  1969  64 

INDEX  88 


DATE  OF  SESSIONS:   July  8,  1970,  and  two  separate  sessions  the  following  day. 
PLACE  OF  SESSIONS:   Judge  Earl  Warren,  Jr.'s  Sacramento  municipal  court  chambers. 
THOSE  PRESENT:   Judge  Warren  and  the  interviewer. 

Born  in  1930,  Earl  Warren,  Jr.,  son  of  the  chief  justice,  was  a  prime  target 
for  the  Earl  Warren  Oral  History  Project  not  only  because  of  his  family  but  also 
because  he  had  already  attained  significance  in  his  own  right  in  two  fields: 
animal  husbandry  and  law/politics.   After  following  a  bachelor's  degree  to  its 
ultimate  promise  in  agronomy  and  animal  husbandry,  he  returned  to  school,  won 
his  law  degree,  entered  private  practice  then  Democratic  politics.   In  1960, 
he  worked  for  Kennedy,  and  in  1962  he  flew  and  spoke  up  and  down  the  state  for 
Democratic  governor  Pat  Brown.   He  settled  onto  the  bench  in  the  municipal  court 
of  Sacramento  in  1966. 

The  interview  sessions  were  marked  by  his  ability  to  answer  questions  with 
a  forthrightness  and  sense  of  propriety  reminiscent  of  his  father  but  with  a 
more  open  approach.   He  seemed  to  feel  little  ambivalence  about  taping  for 
history  and  cleared  his  calendar,  except  for  times  court  was  in  session,  so  we 
could  proceed  from  beginning  to  end  during  a  single  trip  to  Sacramento  by  the 
interviewer.   We  sent  a  rough-edited  transcript  to  him  March  12,  1971,  and  with 
exceptional  alacrity  for  an  interviewee,  he  returned  it,  reviewed,  ten  days  later 
with  the  note,  "I  don't  think  I  did  any  violence  to  it — merely  cleaned  it  up  so 
that  it  more  accurately  portrays  the  intended  thoughts."  Because  the  page  numbers 
of  his  copy  had  not  been  corrected  to  correspond  to  the  Regional  Oral  History 
Office's  chaptering,   the  location  of  some  of  our  specific  questions  were  obscured; 
a  short  conference  over  the  manuscript  April  20,  1971,  resolved  these  tag  ends 
and  the  manuscript  was  final-typed  shortly  thereafter. 

But  his  role  as  interviewee  was  only  a  part  of  the  invaluable  aid  he  afforded 
the  project.   When  the  project  first  came  alive,  Judge  Warren  held  an  advisory 
conference  with  us  July  9,  1969,  in  his  chambers,  as  one  of  those  to  help  judge 
who,  among  ten  pages  of  names,  was  closest  to  his  father  and  where  they  were. 
We  also  discussed  the  rough  outlines  of  his  own  potential  recording  at  that  time. 
("My  memory  of  Dad's  life  and  public  affairs  begins  about  1935,"  reads  my  note 
on  that  session.) 

The  largest  and  perhaps  most  important  undertaking  was  one  he  agreed  to  do 
not  long  after  his  father  died,  leaving  his  own  800-plus  page  transcript  unre- 
viewed.   At  this  point  Earl  Warren,  Jr.,  read  through  the  manuscript  (the  same 
copy  that  Governor  Warren's  former  departmental  secretary,  Merrell  F.  Small,  had 
just  finished  reviewing  and  annotating).   Except  for  one  minor  correction,  Judge 
Warren  gave  the  transcript  an  OK  for  final  typing  to  the  understandable  relief 
and  unending  gratitude  of  our  staff. 


Earl  Warren,  Jr.'s  own  transcript  has  been  held  in  limbo  because  the 
opportunity  arose  to  interview,  one  by  one,  three  more  of  the  Warren  family, 
and  plans  were  correspondingly  revised  to  put  all  four  transcripts  together 
as  one  volume  and  release  them  simultaneously. 

Here,  then,  is  the  interview  with  the  first  willing  narrator  from  Earl 
Warren's  family. 

Amelia  R.  Fry 

22  October  1979 

Regional  Oral  History  Office 

486  The  Bancroft  Library 

University  of  California  at  Berkeley 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 


(Interview  1  -  July  8,  1970) 


Life  in  the  Governor's  Mansion 

Fry:  According  to  my  notes,  you  were  born  in  January  in  1930. 

Warren:  Right. 

Fry:  Where  were  you  born,  in  Oakland? 

Warren:  I  was  born  in  Oakland,  yes. 

Fry:  And  you  went  to  public  schools,  right? 

Warren:  Yes. 

Fry:  You  always  had  plenty  of  brothers  and  sisters  around — I'm  vague 

on  the   stair-steps  in  your  family — 

Warren:     I'm  almost  in  the  middle.     I  have  an  older  brother,  Jim,   and  an 

older  sister,  Virginia,   and  then  two  younger  sisters,  Dorothy  and 
Nina,   and  my  brother  Bob,  who's  the  youngest. 

Fry:  I  think  Irving  Stone  told  me  that  you  kids  didn't  know  that  Jim 

was  your  half-brother  until  the  first  book  was  about  to  come  out 
on  your  father  in  19^8.     Is  that  true? 

Warren:     I  don't  know  about  all  the  children.     I_  knew  about  it  earlier 

than  that.     I  was  a  pretty  good  rummager,   and  as  I  recall  I  had 
run  across  some  photographs  or  something  of  that  sort,   and  also  a 
couple  of  names  that  I  had  not  seen  before,   and  I  made  inquiries 
and  found  out  at  that  time.     I  was  about,  maybe  10  or  12,  at  that 

Fry:  Yes.     That  would  have  been  earlier  than  the  Stone  biography. 

Warren:     But  that  was  of  no  particular  significance  to  us.      [Laughter] 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Fry:  It  probably  wasn't  as  significant  to  you  kids  as  it  was  to  the 
older  generation,  which  generally  felt  it  was  an  important  and 
delicate  matter . 

Warren:  No.  It  never  was.  It  never  was  a  secret.  It  just  hasn't  made 
a  bit  of  difference  at  all  that  I  know  of. 

Fry:     Whatever  pre-school  life  was  like  that  you'd  like  to  have  go  on 
tape,  we'd  like  to  have  your  account.  Did  you  go  to  nursery 

Warren:  No.  Pre-school  was  great.  Just  a  lot  of  play  in  a  comfortable 
neighborhood.  Lots  of  children  our  own  age,  and  very  tranquil. 

Fry:     Then  you  started  attending — what  was  the  name  of  the  school,  do 
you  remember? 

Warren:  I  went  very  briefly  to  Crocker  Highlands  School  and  then  went  to 
Lakeview  Grammar  School  for  the  rest  of  the  primary  schooling. 
Then  I  went  briefly  to  Westlake  Junior  High,  in  Oakland.  That 
was  very  brief  because  we  then  moved  to  Sacramento,  and  I  went  to 
California  Junior  High  here,  and  then  McClatchy  High  School. 

Fry:     When  do  you  remember  having  definite  interests  in  school,  where 
one  subject  seemed  to  be  a  favorite? 

Warren:  Oh,  I  think  in  kindergarten  I  was  very  interested  in  certain 
things.  I  learned  to  read  early. 

Fry:     You  mean  before  you  went  to  school? 

Warren:  No,  in  school.  But  reading  was  fascinating,  and  it  came  easy, 

fortunately.  So  that  opened  many  other  doors,  and  I  became  very 
interested  in  science  early.  I  read  a  lot  of  books — advanced 
books — when  I  was  young,  and  I  became  extremely  interested  in 
science . 

Fry:     Oh,  is  that  right?  And  this  continued  all  through  your  school? 

Warren:  Right. 

Fry:     Right  up  to  the  present?  Do  you  still  have  a  hobby  in  science? 

Warren:  Oh,  yes,  I  do  a  lot  of  things  in  the  scientific  area,  although 
frankly  now  I  consider  myself  basically  a  social  scientist,  as 
compared  with,  let's  say,  the  physical  biological  scientist  I 
considered  myself  before. 

Earl  Warren,    Jr. 

Warren:     I  went  to  Davis  and  studied  agriculture  because  of  my  liking  for 
the  physical  sciences,  and  also  a  liking  to  apply  things  that  are 
basic,   so  to  speak.     I  like  the  out-of-doors  and  I  always  wanted 
to  do  things  from  the  ground  up — I  never  felt  comfortable  start 
ing  someplace  along  the  line.     I  always  liked  to  start  from  the 
most  common  denominator,  I  guess  you'd  say,   and  then  work  my  way 
up,  building  as  I  went.     That's  the  only  way  that  I  feel  very     . 
comfortable . 

Fry:  You  mean  you  would  want,   if  you're  studying  science,  to  recreate 

the  Boyle's  law  experiments  from  scratch,  or  do  you  mean  that  you 
like  to  read  the  basic  readings  in  an  area,   and  build  on  them 
with  more  specific  ones  later? 

Warren:     Well,  both.     I   suppose  if  I  was  going  to  create  a  chemical  com 
pound,   for  instance,  I  would  probably  prefer  to  mix  the  sodium  and 
chlorine  myself  rather  than  start  out  with  the  salt,  initially. 
Uiat  type  of  approach.      [Laughter]     And  I  would  rather  have  the 
basic  things  firmly  done  before  proceeding  on  to  something  else . 

In  law,  I  feel  much  the   same  way.     I  think  that,  for  instance, 
we   should  be  talking  about  the  spirit  in  which  a  law  was  conceived 
as  being  the  most  important  thing — not  the  law  as  we  presently  see 
it  in  its  hard,   absolute  form.     I  have  since  learned,  of  course, 
that  that's  my  father's  philosophy  also,   so  perhaps  I  got  this  by 
induction — I'm  not  sure. 

Fry:  Or  osmosis? 

Warren:  Yes.  And  I  like  to  think  in  terms  of  the  basic  laws  in  the  United 
States.  We  have  our  basic  laws  in  the  Constitution  and  the  Decla 
ration  of  Independence,  and  the  spirit  with  which  these  great 
institutions  were  devised.  It  makes  it  easier,  I  think,  to  oper 
ate  within  more  refined  areas,  so  to  speak,  that  spring  out  of 
these  things  if  you  understand  what  took  place  below.  I've  found 
it  a  great  asset,  but  it's  also  a  very  controversial  position  to 
be  in. 

Fry:     But  you're  defining  the  meaning  of  the  law  in  terms  of  the  times 
in  which  it  was  put  on  the  books.  Is  that  right? 

Warren:  Yes.  And  what  was  intended  by  it. 

Fry:     Were  you  involved  in  junior  high  or  high  school  politics?  Did  you 
run  for  office? 

Warren:  Oh,  I  was  very  active,  but  I  suppose  I  shied  away  from  running  for 
the  major  offices,  simply  because  my  father  was  prominent. 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Fry:     He  was  governor  by  then,  is  that  right? 

Warren:  Yes.  The  male  ego  being  what  it  is — very  fragile  and  very  demand 
ing — a  boy  generally  wants  to  be  known  for  himself  so  he  will  try 
to  do  those  things  where  he  feels  that  he  can  feel  comfortable  in 
knowing  that  whether  he's  liked  or  disliked  it's  for  himself  and 
not  for  his  father  or  for  somebody  else  in  the  family.  So  I  feel 
now  in  looking  back  that  that's  the  reason  I  did  not  run  for  any 
of  those  offices.  But  I  was  very  active;  I  was  editor  of  the 
school  paper,  as  I  recall,  and  the  yearbook,  and  valedictorian, 
and  a  number  of  other  things.  I  was  always  very  active  in  school 
activities  and  I  played  athletics,  of  course. 

Also  it  seemed  to  us  children  that  we  were  always  engaged  in 
one  continuous  campaign,  and  I  suppose  this  is  why  we  didn't  really 
want  to  get  involved  in  any  more  campaigning  than  was  necessary. 
Because  there  were  meetings  constantly,  people  coming  over,  our 
pictures  being  taken  for  this  and  for  that.  At  least  from  the 
time  Dad  was  Attorney  General  (by  that  time  I  was  only  about  7  or  8 
or  9)>  it  just  seemed  like  one  constant  campaign.  That  was  more 
public  exposure  than  I  particularly  wanted,  and,  I  think,  probably 
more  than  most  of  the  kids  cared  for.  So  most  of  us  weren't  very 
anxious  to  do  very  much  more  of  an  elective  nature . 

Fry:     As  I  went  through  the  governor's  mansion  this  morning,  I  wondered 
about  that,  and  how  much  privacy  there  was  there,  and,  in  view  of 
the  present  governor's  attitude  against  living  in  the  mansion,  I 
wondered  if  the  neighborhood  around  it  has  changed.  It  does  seem 
to  be  sort  of  crowded-in  upon  now,  with  motels  and  businesses. 

Warren:  It  was  an  older  neighborhood  at  the  time  we  were  there,  but  we  had 
the  same  disabilities — noise,  commercialism,  and  the  fact  there 
were  no  children  in  the  area.  It  was  not  what  you  would  call  a 
residential  area  even  then,  and  there  was  a  big  market  across  the 
street,  and  gas  stations,  and  so  forth.  The  mansion  has  been 
encroached  upon  even  more  since  then,  and  it's  unfortunately  in  a 
little  pocket.  I  always  wished  they  would  make  a  park  around  it, 
at  least  that  block,  and  preferably  a  couple  of  blocks,  and  really 
make  it  into  what  it  was  intended  to  be.  But  things  haven't  changed 
quite  that  dramatically  since  then.  It  always  shook  from  cars 
going  by,  and  trucks  going  by,  and  it  was  noisy. 

Fry:     Where  did  you  kids  play? 

Warren:  Oh  we  played  all  over  the  city.   [Laughter]  Any  place.  If  there 
were  five  of  us  we  were  off  in  at  least  five  different  directions, 
at  any  one  time .  And  we  played  at  home .  There  never  was  a  feeling 
of  a  lack  of  privacy. 

Fry:     There  wasn't? 

Earl  Warren,    Jr. 

Warren:     No.     We  felt  very  private  at  home. 

Fry:  Well,   it  does  seem  like  all  the  public  rooms  are  on  the  first 

floor,   and  above  that — 

Warren:     And  we  operated  it  like  a  home.     We  had  our  friends  in  when  we 

wanted,  and  nobody  imposed  on  anybody  else.     And  when  there  were 
receptions,  people  weren't  running  around  upstairs  unless  we  were 
notified  ahead  of  time .     We  had  as  much  privacy  as  any  home  would 
ever  have,  I  guess. 

Fry:  Helen  MacGregor  tells  of  sometimes  coming  over  through  the  day 

when  she  and  your  father  had  something  to  bang  out  together — 
coming  over  into  the  relative  privacy  of  the  study  in  the  gover 
nor's  mansion — and  an  occasional  blonde  head  bobbing  up  in  the 
door,   and  your  father  saying,   "Now,   just  wait.     You  have  to  wait 
until  five  o'clock I     Then  I'll  be  with  you!      [Laughter] 

Warren:     I  don't  remember  that. 

Fry:  You  don't  remember  any  of  that? 

Warren:     No,   in  fact  it  doesn't  even  sound  like  him.     Because  what — 

Fry:  I  got  the  reverse  story  then  from,  I  think,  Oscar  Jahnsen,  or 

somebody,  who  said  that  your  father  never  would  bring  his  work 
home.     That  when  he  was  home,  he  was  home. 

Warren:     That's  only  partly  true  also,  because  Dad  frequently  brought  work 
home.     The  part  I  dispute  is  his  saying,    "Wait,"  because  the  one 
thing  that  is  truly  amazing  about  my  father  is  he  always  seems  to 
have  time  for  everybody.     I  don't  think  any  father  was  ever  manda- 
torily  away  from  his  family  more  than  he  was,   and  yet  I  don't  sup 
pose  there  ever  was   a  father  that  was  as  much  there  all  the  time. 
I  can  never  remember  a  time  when  he   said  to  me,   "Not  now,  later." 

Fry:  Is  that  right? 

Warren:     I'm  sure  the  other  kids  feel  the  same  way  about  it.     And  most 

everybody  who  really  knows  him  feels  that  way.  It's  one  of  those 
rare  qualities  that  very,  very  few  people  possess,  but  he  has  it. 
He  has  the  ability  to  make  you  think  that  he  has  only  your  inter 
est  in  mind  at  the  particular  time. 

Fry:  Yes.     He  zeroes  in. 

Warren:  And  as  a  consequence,  it  only  takes  a  moment  for  him  to  do  some 
thing  that  would  otherwise  take  a  long  time.  And  you  always  feel 
satisfied.  So,  although  he  may  have  been  a  physically  absent  father 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Warren:  most  of  the  time,  when  he  was  there  everything  counted  and  there 
never  was  a  time  when  we  felt  neglected  or  felt  he  was  gone. 

Fry:     This  is  the  thing  I  always  was  so  skeptical  about.  I  kept  picking 
up  all  these  stories  about  how  he  was  with  the  kids  a  great  deal: 
the  Sundays  when  he  took  the  kids  out  and  things  like  this.  And  I 
thought,  how  can  a  man  in  the  positions  that  he's  held  be  with  his 
kids  like  that? 

Warren:  I  don't  know.  He  just  could  make  every  moment — not  every  minute, 
but  every  moment — absolutely  full  and  absolutely  efficient.  I 
don't  know  how  he  does  it  either.  He  used  to  bring — he  still  does 
— his  work  home  all  the  time,  and  reads  in  the  middle  of  the  night. 
But,  again,  he's  one  of  these  people  who  can  fall  asleep  whenever 
he  decides  he  wants  to  fall  asleep,  and  he  can  wake  up  whenever  he 
wants  to  wake  up.  When  he  wakes  up  he's  just  as  clear-headed  as 
he  was  before  he  went  to  sleep.  I  have  come  home  after  a  date 
when  I  know  he's  been  absolutely  exhausted — maybe  1:30-2  o'clock 
in  the  morning — and  stopped  by  his  room,  because  he'd  be  studying 
in  bed,  and  talked  to  him,  and  finally  he'd  be  so  exhausted  that 
he  would  simply  fall  asleep.  And  then  I  have  walked  by,  maybe 
four  or  five  hours  later  in  the  morning  on  the  way  to  school,  and 
he  would  hear  me  walking  by  and  wake  up  and  finish  what  he  was 
talking  about  the  night  before.  He  would  resume  the  conversation 
immediately — no  yawns,  no  stretching — just  take  right  off  in  the 
middle  of  the  sentence,  or  wherever  he  was  and  go  on.  He  just  has 
that  type  of  mind.  In  a  car  on  the  way  to  a  meeting  he  could  drop 
his  head  and  nod  for  a  few  minutes — five  minutes — ten  minutes. 
This  is  probably  a  major  reason  why  he  has  such  tremendous  stamina. 

Fry:     Yes.  That's  how  he's  able  to  go  and  travel  at  night  and  make  his 
speeches  during  the  day  on  those  terrible  schedules  he  used  to 

Warren:  Yes.  And  he  has  an  even  nature  all  the  way  along,  you  know.  His 
mood  does  not  change . 

Fry:  It  doesn't?  That  was  another  thing  I  was  wondering  about? 

Warren:  No. 

Fry:  His  office  staff  said  that  only  occasionally  would  his  temper  flare, 

Warren:  Well,  if  his  temper  flared — 

Fry:  No  matter  how  much  the  pressure — 

Warren:  Right.  If  his  temper  flared,  it  flared  for  a  reason,  and  it  made 
no  difference  whether  he  was  rested  or  tired  or  what  had  preceded 
it — it  was  always  on  that  particular  issue.  If  he  was  angry  on  a 

Earl  Warren,    Jr. 

Warren:  subject,  he  would  have  a  right  to  be  angry,  or  it  would  be  the 
type  of  thing  that  would  make  him  angry  at  any  time,  under  any 
circumstances . 

Fry:  Yes.     He  wouldn't  bottle  up,   and  then  get  angry  at  some  small 

thing,  later. 

Warren:     Right.     He  isn't  the  type  of  person  where  you  see  things  welling 
up  and  the  strain  showing.     Conversely,  he  was  never  of  a  mood 
where  you  felt  anything  went  because  he  was  particularly  happy. 
He's  the  most  even-tempered  person  I've  ever  seen. 

Fry:  So  you  kids  didn't  have  to  tiptoe  around  because  father    is   tired 

and  irritable  tonight? 

Warren :     Never .     Never . 
Fry :  Marvelous . 

Warren:     We  never  thought  of  him  as  being  tired  or  rested  or  grumpy  or 
happy.     He  was  just  the  same  person  all  the  time.     With  one 
exception . 

Fry:  Oh. 

Warren:  And  this  is  in  later  years.  When  he  was  working  on  the  Kennedy 

Commission  it  was  obviously  a  terrible,  terrible  drain  on  him.  I 
was  personally  very  fearful  for  his  health  at  that  time.  He  was 
carrying  three  tremendous  jobs.  He  was  carrying  the  job  of  a 
justice  of  the  Supreme  Court,  he  was  carrying  a  tremendous  burden 
on  the  administration  of  the  courts  at  that  time,  and  every  other 
available  moment  he  was  spending  on  the  commission,  and  doing 
tremendous  research  in  the  background  on  it,  too.  For  the  first 
time,  strain  really,  really  showed.  Of  course,  he  was  living  that 
tragic  event  over  every  moment.  It  had  been  a  heart-rending  thing 
to  him  initially  anyway,  that  it  was  really  quite  cruel  for  him  to 
have  to  go  through  it  again  and  again. 

Fry:     Talking  more  about  family  recreation,  somewhere  I  picked  up  a  note: 
Sundays  in  Oakland  with  Aunt  Ethel  Plank  in  the  park.  Do  you 
remember  anything  like  that? 

Warren:  Yes.  We  used  to  spend  a  lot  of  time,  when  we  were  very  little,  in 
the  parks  in  Oakland,  and  we  used  to  go  to  the  zoo  very  frequently. 
In  fact  that's  how  Honeybear  got  her  name. 

Fry:     Was  this  the  San  Francisco  zoo? 

Warren:  No,  it  was  the  old  zoo  in  Oakland.  It's  no  longer  where  it  was. 

There's  a  new  zoo,  now.  Up  in  the  hills.  About  the  time  Honeybear 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Warren:     was  born — just  after  she  was  born — we  went  up  to  see  the  zoo,   and 
there  was  an  animal  there  called  the  honeybear.     There  really  is 
such  a  thing  as  a  honeybear.     But  the  honeybear  had  a  little  box 
in  the  cage,   and  it  had  a  little  round  hole  that  it  went  in  and 
out — sort  of  like  a  bird  house .     All  we  ever  saw  of  the  honeybear 
was  a  big  bunch  of  blonde  fur  spilling  out  of  this  hole,  because 
he   slept  with  his  back  to  it — almost  all  animals  sleep  with  their 
back  to  the  opening.     And  so  that's  all   we  ever  knew  of  the  honey- 
bear.     Well,  when  Nina  came  along — and  she'd  be  asleep  in  bed, 
she'd  always  pull  her  head  down,   and  all  we'd  see  was  a  bunch  of 
blonde  hair  coming  out  from  underneath  the  covers.     So  she  got  the 
label,  Honeybear.      [Laughter]     Now  some  people  thought  that  she  got 
the  name  from  a  book  for  there  was  a  book  that  was  very  popular  just 
before  that  time  called  HONEYBEAR,  or  something  like  that .     But  the 
naming  didn't  have  anything  to  do  with  that.     It  came  strictly  from 
the  zoo. 

Fry:  Well,  I  guess  this  note  was  an  allusion  to  the  fact  that  when  your 

father  would  take  the  kids  out  on  Sundays  to  give  your  mother  a 
rest,  you'd  go  visit  your  aunt,  who  also  lived  in  Oakland. 

Warren:     Oh,  we  used  to  go  visit  her  a  lot.     We  sure  did. 

Fry:  And  did  your  grandmother  live  there  with  Ethel  Plank  at  the  time — 

Warren:     No.     She  had  her  own  apartment  in  Oakland. 

Fry:  Could  you  give  us  some  idea  of  the  kinds  of  recreation,  or  games 

or  something  that  you  kids  used  to  play  with  your  father  or  without 
your  father? 


Warren:     Oh,  we  played  most  everything. 

Fry:  There's  a  note  about   "information,  Please,"  with  Bobby  as  quiz 


Warren:     Oh,  well —     [Laughter]   —  at  the  dinner-table  later  on,   as  we  got 
a  little  bit  older,  we  used  to  play  "information,  Please,"  and  all 
kinds  of  quiz  games,  because  of  course  that  was  the  quiz  era.     And 
riddles,   and  anything  anybody  wanted  to-- 

Fry:  Sounds  like  sneaky  education  to  me!      [Laughter]     This  is  what  I  do 

with  my  kids  to  make  them  think  a  little . 

Warren:     Yes,  but  I  think  it  was  more  than  that.     Mostly  the  kids  prepared 
the  program. 

Fry:  Did  you  ever  get  any  help  on  your  homework  or  anything  like  that? 

Warren:     From  my  parents?     No. 

Earl  Warren,    Jr. 



Maybe  not  help  on  an  assignment,  but  help  on  whatever  project  you 
were  doing  in  school — your  "unit."  I  was  just  wondering  if  there 
was  a  lot  of  parent  participation  with  your  schoolwork. 







No.     It  really  wasn't  possible.     They  just  weren't  there  that  often. 
So  generally,  we  found  other  sources  if  we  needed  help.     Of  course, 
they'd  always  see,  if  we  needed  help  that  we  were  steered  in  the 
right  direction.     But  the  kids  were  pretty  good  students.     And  in 
those  days  we  didn't  have  homework  like  they  have  now.     It  wasn't 
nearly  as  ferocious  as  it  is  now. 

Yes.     That  was  before  Sputnik. 

I  was  also  going  to  ask  you  a  little  bit  more  about  the 
mansion,   since  I  went  through  it.     I  understand  it  was  refurbished 
about  19^-3 3   at  least  there  are  some  newspaper  articles  about  it. 

Yes.     My  mother  did  all  that,  with  Oscar  Jahnsen  and  a  few  other 
people .     It  was  in  terrible  shape .     I  mean  really  horrible . 


Oh,  yes.     The  front  porch  fell  in — they  hadn't  used  it  for  years. 
Even  big  things  like  that  were  dilapidated.     It  was  in  really  very, 
very  bad  shape . 

It  seems  to  be  in  beautiful  shape  now. 

It's  in  good  shape,   except  the  third  story,  which,   from  the  trucks 
and  cars  rumbling  by,  has  great  big  cracks  that  run  up  the  wall. 
It  does  get  a  pretty  good  shaking. 

Yes.     What's  up  there  on  the  very  top? 

Nothing.     Just  a  little  bitty  room.     I  understand  that  a     long  time 
ago  they  used  to  occasionally  play  cards  up  there.     That's  quite  a 

Yes.     I  could  imagine  it  as  a  hiding -out  place  for  some  kid  who 
wanted  to  get  away  and  read  a  book  or  something  like  that . 

It  could  be,  but  we  didn't  use  it.     One  of  the  things  about  the 
mansion  that  really,  I  think,   impresses  everybody  is  that  even  if 
you  just  confine  yourself  to  the  first  and  second  stories,  which  is 
practically  where  you  live  anyway,  those  stairs  are  ferocious. 
[Laughter]     And  generally  we  used  the  back  stairs  anyway,  which  are 
almost  straight  up  and  down.     You  probably  didn't  see  them,  because 
they  don't  let  people — 


No,  I  guess  I  didn't  go  down  those  stairs. 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Warren : 



Warren : 

I  can  remember  that  even  when  I  was  in  the  very  best  of  shape 
playing  football  in  high  school,  running  up  and  down  those  stairs 
a  number  of  times  really  was  a  pretty  good  workout .     And  if  some 
body — fortunately  for  us  nobody  had  any  disability — but  if  some 
body  had  had  a  disability  I  imagine  it  would  be  quite  an  onerous 

Yes.     Poor  Olson.     I  guess  he  was  just  confined  to  the — 
Well,  he  didn't  live  there  much. 
Oh,  didn't  he? 

The  only  person  who  lived  there  any  really  substantial  time  prior 
to  us  was  Young.     Olson  did  live  there  to  a  very  limited  degree, 
but  mostly  he  lived  away.     There  was  a  belief  at  that  time  that 
there  was  a  requirement  that  you  live  there  six  months  out  of  the 
year,   or  something  like  that.     It  was  thought  to  be  the  law — that 
you  had  to  do  it.     But,  basically,  Merriam,   and  Olson  and  Rolph 
didn't  live  there.     They  lived  at  the  Sutter  Club,  or  Elks,  or  in 
apartment  houses.     Oh,  they'd  come  by,   and  they'd  have  their 
parties,   and  I  do  know  that  some  of  Olson's     family  lived  there  at 
least  briefly.     But  I  don't  think  he  used  it  very  much.     The  guards 
who  had  worked  there — we  had  guards  who  had  worked  there  since 
Young's  time  when  we  first  went  there.     They  could  remember  back, 
and  of  course  they  were  delighted  to  have  people  around.      [Laughter] 
Yes.     But  they  told  us  that  there  was  practically  no  use  made  of  it 
at  all  since  Young's  term. 

Well,  it's  kind  of  fun  to  look  at  from  the  outside,  but  when  you 
get  inside  it's  really  beautiful,  with  those  marble  fireplaces — 

Yes.     It's  much  the  same  as  we  fixed  it  up.     Virginia  Knight  was 
interested  in  the  house,   and  she  re-did  the  kitchen  and  she  made  a 
few  other  minor  changes,  but  basically  she  kept  it  the  same.     She 
was  a  sweet  soul,   and  rather  sentimental,   and  she  liked  to  keep 
things  much  as  they  were — not  change  them  drastically.     We  had  a 
very  archaic  kitchen.     It  was  sort  of  a  barny  thing  with  a  great 
big  old  black  stove  in  it — very  unwieldy  for  anybody  working  there — 
Virginia  changed  that.     And  since  that  time  it's  only  had  minor 
changes  made  to  it.     The  Browns  put  in  the  pool,   and  made  a  few 
minor  changes  inside.     The  Reagans  didn't  do  hardly  anything. 



Yes.  Where  did  you  kids  go  to  swim? 
Sacramento  swims. 

Surely  everybody  in 

Yes.  Dad  belonged  to  the  Del  Paso  Country  Club  then  and  we  did 
most  of  our  swimming  out  there,  although  we  swam  at  all  the  public 
pools  and  in  the  rivers. 

Earl  Warren,    Jr. 

Fry:  That  sounds  like  fun.     The  rivers  were  very  clean,   at  that  time,  I 


The  Warrens'   Southern  California  Residence 

Fry:  When  I  was  going  through  some  of  the  files  over  at  the  California 

State  Library,  there  was  something  that  I  picked  up:     In  the 
Sacramento  Bee  of  October  25,  1960,   an  article  was  headlined, 
"Earl  Warren,  Jr.,  works  as  deputy  county  clerk."    When  were  you  a 
deputy  county  clerk? 

Warren:     When  I  was  waiting  for  the  results  of  the  bar  exam  to  come  back, 
and  I  worked  as  a  deputy  clerk    here . 

As  a  kid,  I  worked  as  a  gardener  a  lot.     When  I  was  in  law 
school  I  worked  one  summer  for  the  district  attorney's  office  in 
Alameda  county. 

Fry:  That  must  have  been  interesting,   in  your  father's  old  haunts. 

Warren:     I  did  commercial  diving  and  commercial  fishing,   and  was  a  lifeguard 
for  several  years — beach  boy. 

Fry:  Where? 

Warren:  Stunt  man  for  the  movies. 

Fry:     Good  heavens. 

Warren:  That  was  mostly  in  Southern  California,  during  summers.  I  had  my 

own  little  sea  urchin  processing  company,  the  only  one  this  side  of 
the  Orient.  I  had  three  Japanese  partners  at  the  time. 

Fry:     How  do  you  process  sea  urchins? 

Warren:  The  sea  urchins  are  those  purple,  prickly  things.  They're  practi 
cally  hollow,  except  that  they  have  two  layers  of  eggs  inside  that 
are  very  highly  prized  by  the  Asians  and  by  Italians .  The  Portuguese 
eat  them  to  some  extent,  but  mostly  the  Italians  and  Chinese  and 
Japanese . 

Fry:     Did  you  get  into  this  while  your  family  would  be  living  at  the 
ranch — 

Warren:  The  Uplifters'  Club?  [Laughter] 

Fry:     The  Uplifters'  Ranch,  yes,  in  Santa  Monica — 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Warren:  Yes. 

Fry:  Is  that  how  you  developed  your  Southern  California  jobs? 

Warren:     Yes.     We  used  to  stay  down  there  all  summer. 

Fry:  Maybe  you  could  explain  to  me  what  the  Uplifters'  Ranch  was.     Was 

that  kind  of  a  club? 

Warren:     I  think  it  was  formed  either  in  the  teens  or  the    '20s,   and  initially 
it  was  a  club.     It  was  called  the  Uplifters1   Club.     At  first  it  was 
sort  of  a  retreat  for  men.     And  then  they  began  to  build  homes  in 
the  area.     But  even  long  after  that  they  used  to  have  Bohemian 
Grove  type  of  retreats  for  the  men.     Die  women  weren't  allowed  in. 
This  continued  into  the  thirties,  when  a  lot  of  these  wealthy 
people  apparently  went  down  the  tubes,   or  nearly  so,   in  the  Depres 
sion.     Then  the  setup  began  to  disintegrate,   and  by  the  time  we 
started  going  there  they  still  called  it  the  Uplifters1  Club,  but 
it  wasn't  a  club.     It  was  just  a  very  heavily  wooded  area  where 
they  had  private  homes.     We  had  some  friends  who  owned  what  they 
called  a  cabin  there,   and  they  loaned  it  to  us  in  the  summertime 
because  they  didn't  use  it  then. 

Fry:  Oh,  I  see.     So  it  was  really  a  retreat-in-the-woods  type  of  thing. 

Warren:     Well,  not  really.     Not  by  today's  standards,   it  wouldn't  be  con 
sidered  very  far  out,  because  it  was  all    built  up  around  there, 
and  since  then  it  has  built  up  almost  solid.     But  it  was  in  a 
wooded  canyon. 

Fry:  Was  this  kind  of  a  family  summertime  arrangement? 

Warren:     Generally  speaking  we  stayed  there  all  summer.     Dad  wanted  to  be 
sure  he  kept  a  strong  political  base  in  Southern  California.     He 
saw  where  Southern  California  was  going  very  early  in  the  game — 
long  before  anybody  else  did,   and  wanted  to  make   sure  that  he  had 
plenty  of  roots  down  there  as  well  as  up  North. 

Fry:  You  mean  in  population  growth  he  saw  where  it  was  going,   or  in — 

Warren:     Population  growth  and  in  power.     In  political  power.     He  wanted  to 
be  sure  of  two  things:     One,  he  wanted  to  be   sure  he  understood 
that  area  and  recognized  it,  which  he  did;  but  also  he  recognized 
the  political  punch  that  was  inherent  there  and  wanted  to  be  well- 
known  in  Southern  California. 

Fry:  What  sports  did  you  participate  in?    With  your  father's  abiding 

interest  in  football  and  so  forth — 

Warren:     I  primarily  played  football. 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Fry:     You  did?  That  must  have  given  your  father  a  great  deal  of  pleas 
ure  .   [Laughter]  I'm  sure  he  never  missed  a  game.  Is  that  right? 

Warren:  He  couldn't  see  them  all,  but  he  went  to  every  one  he  possibly 
could.  We  had  a  good  team,  too.  We  had  probably  the  best  high 
school  team  in  the  country  at  that  time .  We  won  the  championship 
and  had  about  a  dozen  fellows  that  went  on  to  professional  ball. 

Fry:     I  always  ask  people  I  interview,  too,  what  sort  of  magazines  and 
reading  material  were  lying  around  in  the  house  that  they  were 
particularly  interested  in  as  they  grew  up. 

Warren:  Well,  we  had  a  pretty  good  exposure  to  various  periodicals.  I 

suppose  they  would  be  the  ones,  though,  that  are  mostly  found  in 
every  home .  You  know,  Life,  and  the  Saturday  Evening  Post — 
various  newspapers. 

Fry:     The  general,  popular  magazines  and  newspapers? 

Warren:  Yes.  Nothing  exceptional  that  I  can  think  of,  although  Dad  always 
had  so  much  reading  material  that  we  could  have  read  most  anything 
we  wanted,  I  suppose. 

Fry:     Probably  overwhelming. 

[The  following  exchange  was  not  recorded  - 
Verbatim  dictation  4/20/71:] 

Warren:  Yes.  We  had  a  very  general  library,  very  extensive,  all  the 

classics,  and  of  course  politics.  Dad  was  primarily  a  non-fiction 
reader,  a  lot  of  histories,  sociological  studies,  all  these  things 
that  would  seem  to  bear  on  his  work. 

Fry:     Mysteries  to  unwind? 

Warren:     No.     He  never  unwound  really  because  he  never  got  wound  up  in  the 
first  place.     He  was  remarkably  stable.  After  a  hard  day's  work  on 
one  problem,  he  could  come  right  home  and  read  a  heavy  book  on  it. 

Also,  he  never  made  us  change  the  subject  in  conversation.  He 
was  always  willing  to  exhaust  the   subject  as  much  as  we     wanted  to. 

College  at  Davis 

Fry:  And  then  did  you  stay  at  Davis  for  your  four  years? 

Warren:     Yes.     I  was  at  Davis  all  four  years. 
Fry:  Then  did  you  graduate  in  agriculture? 

Earl  Warren,    Jr. 

Warren:     Yes.     I  was  an  animal  husbandry  major,   and  I  graduated  in  agri 
culture  .     Then  I  worked  for  a  year  on  farms  in  Yolo  and  Solano 
Counties  as  a  farm  hand,  farm  worker,   and  then  went  on  active 
duty  with  the  army.     After  that,  I  worked  several  years  as  a  Farm 
Advisor  in  Alameda  County. 

(Session  2  -  July  9,  1970) 

Fry:  One  of  the  things  that  I  missed  asking  yesterday  was  about  your 

life  at  Davis.     You  say  that  you  were  interested  in  the  physical 
sciences,   and  so  you  took  agriculture.     I  thought  agriculture  was 
the  biological  sciences. 

Warren:     Partly.     The  training  for  agriculture  at  Davis,  or  the  University 
of  California,   is  basically  the  same  as  a  pre-med  course  for  two  to 
three  years,  and  that's  mostly  the  basic  sciences.     It  does  get  in 
to  the  biological  sciences,  of  course,  but  there  is  a  lot  of  math, 
a  lot  of  chemistry,   and  things  of  that  sort. 

Did  you  have  any  outside 

Fry:  And  so  you  went  on  through  that  course, 

activities  there? 

Warren:     Oh,  yes.     And  I  was  Picnic  Day  Chairman. 
Fry:  Oh,  you  were? 

Warren:     Yes.     The  day  the  wind  blew.      [Laughter]     We  always  feared  rain. 
Picnic  Day  chairmen,   ever  since  the  event  had  been  started  about 
50  years  before,  had  feared  rain.     And  rain  was  predicted  for  our 
day.     The  morning  of  the  session,   it  was  just  as  ready  to  rain  as 
it  could  possibly  be.     But  about  six -thirty  in  the  morning  we 
noticed  a  little  breath  of  air  starting  to  stir,   and  everybody 
cheered,   and  within  an  hour  the  wind  was  blowing  strong  enough  to 
start  moving  the  clouds  away  and  we  were  terribly  elated.     However, 
by  the  time  the  parade  started  at  ten  o'clock  it  was  in  the  70-mile 
an  hour  category  and  tore  all   the  floats  apart,   and  it  looked  like 
an  atom  bomb  had  landed  in  the  horse  arena  because  of  a  cloud  of 
dust  that  was  going  about  200  feet  in  the  air.     It  was  a  complete 
disaster  from  a  natural  environment  standpoint,  but  we  had  a  good 
day  anyway.      [Laughter] 

Fry:  Oh,  really? 

Warren:     Sure.     This  was  when  they  still  had  the  world's  largest  high  school 
track  meet  there.     Those  fellows  who  were  running  the  100-yard  dash 
with  the  wind  were  doing  it  in  about  8  seconds.     Of  course  if  you 
ran     it  against  the  wind  you  were  doing  it  in  about  15  or  20! 
[Laughter ] 

Fry:  Had  a  lot  of  world's  records  broken  that  day?      [Laughter] 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Warren:  We  had  all  sorts  of  bizarre  things  happening. 

Fry:     You  must  have  made  some  awfully  good  friends  with  things  like  that 
happening;  you  go  through  them  together. 

Warren:  Oh,  yes.  That  was  a  great  campus  and  still  is. 

Fry:     Yes.  I  guess  it's  always  been  my  favorite  campus,  except  right  now 
it's  really  getting  crowded. 

Warren:  I  was  told  that  last  year  they  had  more  applicants  than  they  had 
combined  at  Berkeley  and  UCLA. 

Fry:     I'll  bet  they  did. 

Warren:  It  sounds  fantastic,  but  I  verified  that  with  a  high  officer. 

Fry:     Did  you  run  for  any  offices,  or  anything  like  that? 

Warren:  I  was  very  heavily  engaged  in  student  activities.  In  those  days 
the  student  body,  or  the  actual  governing  of  the  college,  was  a 
joint  venture  by  students  and  faculty  partly  through  undisclosed 
secret  organizations. 

Fry:     That  sounds  sinister. 

Warren:  It  sounds  sinister,  but  it  was  not.  These  groups  of  faculty  and 

students  had  been  formed  years  before,  and  they  pretty  much  decided 
how  the  school  was  to  be  run,  even  to  the  point  of  who  would  be 
asked  to  run  for  the  offices.  And  largely  the  person  who  was 
selected  by  these  groups  ended  up  being  elected.  It  was  really  a 
highly  democratic  thing,  even  though  it  sounds  like  it  was  exactly 
the  opposite.  If  difficult  things  had  to  be  done,  they  would 
suddenly  just  be  done.  And  nobody  knew  where  or  how  it  was  done, 
but  it  was  done.  This  ran  a  wide  gamut,  and  it  was  really  quite 

Of  course  we  had  a  very  social  campus,  we  had  a  tremendous 
number  of  organizations  of  all  types,  and  they  were  very  active. 

Fry:  Yes.  Do  you  mean  that  these  were  combinations  of  political  groups? 

Warren:  No. 

Fry:  Well,  did  they  have  continuity  through  the  years? 

Warren:  Oh,  yes.  Tremendous  continuity. 

Fry:     With  a  formal  officer  structure,  and  things  like  this?  Or  were 
they  just  people  that  a  professor  might  call  in  or  that  campus 
leaders  might  get  together? 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 


Warren : 



No,  these  were  groups  that  acted  by  consensus,   and  generally  by 
just  almost  plain  unanimity.     It  was  absolutely  fascinating.     I 
know  on  other  campuses  they've  had  groups  that  have  done  this  to 
some  degree,  but  I  know  of  none  that  have  done  it  so  effectively. 
And  the  reason  for  it  is  that  there  was  such  an  immense  feeling  of 
pride  in  the  institution,   and  such  tremendous  cooperation  between 
faculty  and  students  and  the  administration,  that  problems  were 
stopped  before  they  became  at  all  serious.     It  was  just  great! 
Even  to  the  point  where  we  thought  if  things  were  getting  a  little 
bit  quiet  on  campus,  we  would  take  a  Model   "T"  Ford,   disassemble 
it,   and  assemble  it  suddenly  in  the  chancellor's  bedroom,  or  some 
thing  like  that — with  the  motor  running!      [Laughter] 

Shall  I  ask  if  you  did  that? 

[Laughter]  As  we  say  in  the  law,  "I  neither  admit  nor  deny."  But 
it  was  really  a  fun  campus.  Of  course  now  it's  become  large.  But 
it  still  carries  a  certain  stamp  of  this  internal  cooperation. 

Even  in  those  days,  Davis  was  leader  as  to  what  happened  in 
the  entire  University  system.     We  could  do  things  that  Berkeley 
and  UCLA  could  not  do  at  all.     In  Cal  Club — California  Club — the 
inter-campus  club  that  is  designed  to  promote  the  well-being  of 
the  University  in  general,  Davis  always  played  a  major  role. 
Especially  since  the  smaller  campuses  generally  joined  with  Davis 
on  major  issues.     Hence  we  were  able  to  do  a  great  deal  for  the 
University  as  a  whole.     So  it  wasn't  a  localized  situation.     And 
it's  one  of  the  reasons  why  so  many  Davis  graduates  have  been  such 
potent  forces  later  on  in  the  University  structure. 

I  maintain  all 

Oh,  have  they? 

Yes.  Those  were  very  exciting  days  and  still  are. 
the  contacts  I  think  I  ever  had  there. 

Could  you  give  some  examples  of  your — 

Practically  all  the  faculty.  For  instance,  Jim  Wilson,  the  fellow 
who  just  burned  his  pants  in  dual  protest  over  the  war  and  the 
burning  of  bank  buildings — he's  one  of  my  best  friends.  He  was  one 
of  my  profs  there.  And  all  the  chancellors  that  have  come  through. 
I  work  very  closely  still  with  the  University  on  all  sorts  of 

Fry:     You  mean  as  an  alum? 

Warren:  As  an  alum,  and  privately,  too. 

Fry:     Well,  they  need  friends  these  days.  [Laughter] 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Fry:     Were  you  ever  in  anything  musical? 

Warren:  No. 

Fry:     Or  dramatic,  there?  Davis  had  some  good  dramatic  things. 

Warren:  Yes.  I  love  those  things,  but  in  a  performance  role  they're  not 
my  bag,  so  to  speak. 

Fry:     That  was  another  thing  that  I  wanted  to  ask  you — your  dad  played 
the  clarinet,  I  think — or  something  like  that. 

Warren:  Yes.  He  played  clarinet. 

Fry:     And  I  saw  a  beautiful  Steinway  piano  in  the  governor's  mansion  this 
morning  when  I  toured  through  it,  and  I  wondered  if  the  music  had 
trickled  down  into  the  second  generation? 

Warren:  Not  much.  Virginia  was  the  only  one  who  had  a  talent  for  music — 
she  had  good  talent  for  it.  But  she  didn't  pursue  it. 

Fry:  What  did  she  play? 

Warren:  She  played  the  piano. 

Fry:  Was  that  Steinway  there,  when  you  were  there? 

Warren:  Yes.  It  was  there. 

Decision  to  Go  into  Law 

Fry:     Where  are  we — Were  you  in  the  army  during  Korea? 
Warren:  Yes,  that  was  at  the  end  of  the  Korean  war. 
Fry:     Did  you  go  to  Korea? 

Warren:  No.  And  then  after  that  I  was  a  farm  advisor  in  Alameda  County  for 
about  three  years.  And  then  went  into  law  school  at  Berkeley. 

Fry:     At  that  point  apparently  you  had  decided,  then,  that  you  wanted  law 
as  a  career,  even  though  your  father  was  in  it? 

Warren:  Yes.  Several  things  began  to  come  home  to  me  about  that  time.  Dad 
had  always  wanted  us  to  be  sure  that  whatever  we  went  into  had  broad 
enough  horizons  to  satisfy  us.  He  would  always  question  us  as  to 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Warren:  anything  we  were  going  to  do.  He  was  the  type  of  man  that  if 
you  had  the  greatest  idea  in  the  world,  but  didn't  have  solid 
reasons  for  doing  it,  he  could  cut  it  into  a  thousand  pieces 
and  make  you  think  it  was  a  terrible  idea.  On  the  other  hand, 
you  could  have  a  rather  bad  idea,  but  if  you  had  honestly  thought 
it  out  and  decided  you  wanted  to  do  it,  he  would  be  totally 
supportive . 

I  found,  in  agriculture,  not  owning  any  land  or  having 
access  to  it,  or  having  any  money  with  which  to  farm,  that  if  I 
was  going  to  stay  in  it,  I  was  going  to  have  to  stay  in  a 
capacity  much  like  I  was  in,  basically  a  teaching  capacity.  And 
that  this  would  require,  if  I  was  going  to  have  good  advancement, 
a  doctorate.  I  had  already  become  known  in  the  state  as  an  expert 
in  animal  husbandry  and  in  agronomy.  And  this  was  as  a  very  young 
man  in  a  short  three  years  *  time .  That  took  a  lot  of  the  challenge 
away.  I  began  to  think — 

Fry:     Yes.  And  also  maybe  you  felt  kind  of  locked  in — 

Warren:  Well,  I  began  to  feel  that  maybe  I  had  not  stepped  into  a  field 
that  had  enough  challenge.  So  the  answer  was  to  get  a  doctorate 
if  I  was  going  to  stay  in  agriculture,  or  go  into  something  else 
that  would  offer  more  potential.  I  was  delighted  with  agriculture-- 
I've  never  enjoyed  anything  as  much  as  I  did  that  experience. 

My  natural  inclination  was  to  go  into  medicine  because  having 
a  scientific  bent  I  always  found  medical  type  courses  very  easy — 
I  had  a  good  feel  for  medicine.  But,  something  that  Dad  had  always 
infused  in  us  began  to  come  home  pretty  strongly.  And  that  is  he 
had  always  strongly  counseled  against  running  away  from  anything, 
or  from  abandoning  anything  simply  because  it  became  uncomfortable. 
He  always  wanted  us  to  really  search  our  minds  and  hearts  to  deter 
mine  whether  or  not  we  were  doing  this  for  convenience  or  whether 
we  were  doing  this  because  we  were  stepping  on  to  something  better, 
more  productive . 

I  had  decided  that  with  my  background,  there  were  two  things 
that  I  could  do:  I  rejected  the  idea  of  going  back  and  getting  a 
doctorate  in  agriculture.  I  didn't  feel  that  this  would  be  very 
broadening  at  all.  In  fact  I  had  a  feeling  that  this  might  even 
further  limit  the  horizons.  So  I  decided  that  it  would  either  be 
medicine,  or,  as  an  outside  chance,  law.  And  the  more  I  thought 
about  it,  the  more  I  thought  that  perhaps  I  ought  to  be  able  to 
apply  more  of  what  I  knew  in  the  area  of  law  than  I  would  in  the 
area  of  medicine .  And  then  I  began  to  feel  that  perhaps  I  was 
running  away  from  law  simply  because  Dad  was  so  prominent  in  it. 

Fry:     By  this  time  he  was  on  the  Supreme  Court. 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Warren:  Yes.  Had  been  there  about  three  years.  I  suppose  that  this,  more 
than  anything  else,  was  the  reason  that  I  decided  I  would  go  into 
law  instead  of  something  else.  I  felt  I  should  face  up  to  that 
challenge,  even  though  law  had  been  the  last  thing  in  my  mind.  I'd 
never  ever  considered  going  into  law,  nor  had  Dad  ever  suggested 
it.  Most  people  think  exactly  the  contrary.  In  fact,  most  people 
had  assumed  automatically  that  I  would  be  a  lawyer,  so — But  anytime 
anybody  assumed  something  like  that,  I  just  bowed  my  back  even  morel 

Fry:     Well,  I  had  kind  of  thought  that  maybe  it  was  a  latter  day  decision; 
this  happens  in  a  lot  of  cases. 

Warren:  It  definitely  was. 

Fry:     Well,  then  you  went  to  law  school,  and  you  came  straight  to 
Sacramento  to  practice  in  private  practice? 

Warren:  I  came  straight  to  Sacramento,  right.  And  opened  my  own  office 
with  two  other  young  fellows — classmates — which  is  the  hard  way 
to  go!   [Laughter]  And  we  practiced  together,  and  then  it  became 
a  two-man  partnership. 

Fry:     Who  were  your  partners? 

Warren:  Tom  Hammer,  and  Al  Fields. 

Fry:     And  did  you  come  straight  to  the  bench  from  private  practice? 

Warren:  Yes.  I  was  in  private  practice  for  about  six  years,  and  then 
came  onto  the  bench . 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 


First  Campaigns  of  Earl  Warren,  Junior 

Fry:  Now,   during  any  of  this  period  were  you  active  in  California 


Warren:     Yes.     Very  active — 
Fry:  When  did  you  start? 

Warren:     Well,  I  actually  started  in  the  initial  John  Kennedy  campaign  in 
I960,   and  then  very  heavily  in  the  gubernatorial  campaign  two 
years  later. 

Fry:  I'm  trying  to  remember,   because  I  was     here  then,  too.     Were  you 

Northern  California  chairman  of  the  Kennedy  campaign — or  you  were 
Northern  California-something,  weren't  you? 

Warren:     No,  I  didn't  have  a  title  in  that  campaign,  I  was  just  working 
independently.     At  that  time  I  was  a  Republican. 

Fry:  Oh,   it  was  after  that  that  you  were  a  Democrat. 

Warren:     Yes. 

Fry:  But  at  any  rate  you  were  working  for  Kennedy  as  a  Republican? 

Or  did  that  not  have  any — was  that  in  the  background?     In  other 
,  words,  you  weren't  head  of  Republicans  for  Kennedy,  or  something 

like  this? 

Warren:     Not  that  I  know  of.     I  don't  recall  whether  I  loaned  the  name,   so 
to  speak,  to  one  of  those  groups  or  not.     But  I  did  work  as  a 
Republican  because  I  felt  that  was  where  I  would  be  most  effective . 

And  then  in    '62,   the  Brown-Nixon  gubernatorial  campaign.     I 
was  very  heavily  involved.     I  was  vice-chairman  of  Governor  Brown's 
campaign  then.     I  had  become  a  Democrat  in  the  interim. 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Warren:     I  also,  during  that  campaign,  campaigned  for  a  wide  variety  of 

candidates— I  campaigned  for  Tom  Kuchel,  a  Republican,  that  year, 
and  many  of  the  assemblymen  and  congressmen  and  senators  that  are 
still  on  the  scene.  That  was  a  big  time  for  me,  because  I  really 
got  to  know  the  political  scene  well  in  California — and  the  players. 

Fry:  You  also  were  in  the  Kuchel  campaign,  who  was  a  Republican;  this 

was  the  pattern,  I  think,  with  many  voters  who  voted  for  Brown,  a 
Democrat,  and  also  voted  for  Kuchel. 

Warren:     It  sure  was. 

Fry:  I've  always  wondered  how  it  is  to  work  with  the  different  little 

local  groups  in  a  campaign  like  that.     I  don't   see  how  it's  ever 
organized  in  California,  because  one  town  will  have  campaign 
headquarters  for  Brown  and  Kuchel — all  in  the  same  room — and  an 
other  town  will  have  all  the  Democratic  candidates,  right  down 
the  line,   and  a  headquarters  for  that.     Itfs  not  at  all  a  neat 
paper  organization. 

Warren:     No.     Some  organizations  are  very  strong,   and  don't  appear  on  paper 
at  all.     On  the  other  hand,   some  of  these  political  organizations 
are  simply  on  paper — they  don't  exist,   in  actuality.     They  look 
great  on  paper,  but  they  have  no  viability  except  for  what  PR  value 
comes  out  of  the  names  that  are  on  the  letterhead. 

Fry:  Yes!      [Laughter] 

Warren:     So  each  individual  situation  varies,   and  when  you  go  to  one  of  these 
places,  you  have  to  know  exactly  what  it  is  that  you're  going  into 
ahead  of  time,   and  this  takes  a  lot  of  planning.     I  traveled  in 
that  one  campaign  about  125, COO  miles.     I  made  about  hOO  speeches 
and  public  appearances . 

Fry:  And  your  speeches  were  not  always  just  for  Brown? 

Warren:     No.     At  times  I  was  shot-gunning  for  local  candidates  as  well. 

Fry:  Who  arranged  your  schedule  and  your  speeches? 

Warren:     I  did  it  all   on  my  own.     I  got  many  requests,  but  I  did  it  myself, 
and  I  paid  my  own  expenses  practically  all  the  way,  too,  except 
where  I  could  hitch  a  ride  on  somebody's  private  plane  or  train 
that  happened  to  be  going  to  a  certain  area.     Yes,  that  was  really 
an  interesting  campaign,  because  that  was  truly  a  citizens'   cam 
paign  ail   the  way  through .     We  were  fighting  tremendous  odds .  And 
we  had  to — 


Yes.     And  tremendous  stakes. 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Warren:  Yes. 

Fry:  Because  I  think  that  everyone  felt  that  if  Nixon  failed  to  win  the 

governorship,   then  he  would  be  completely  out  as  president — never 
again — 

Warren:     I  think  that  was  part  of  it. 

Fry:  And  that  therefore  it  was  really  worth  working  for.     Didn't  Brown 

use  a  public  relations  firm  in  that  campaign?     And  if  so,   did  you 
have  anything  to  do  with  it?     Or  did  he  not  in  that  campaign? 

Warren:     Well,  they  used  firms  in  those  days,  but  more  often  than  not,  they 
took  people  from  various  firms  and  sort  of  put  together  their  own 
PR    [Public  Relations]   staffs. 

Fry:  Incorporated  them — 

Warren:     It's  not  like  now  when  you  say  "Well  Whit aker -Baxter  handles  all  my 
stuff,"  or  something  like  that.     It  wasn't  that  way.     Maybe  a  candi 
date  would  have  a  certain  firm  that  would  do  most  of  his  basic  work, 
but  a  gubernatorial  candidate  usually  had  people  from  various  firms, 
and  some  old  pros  that  did  nothing  but  PR  work  for  political  candi 
dates.     And  they  had  their  own  staff,  which  made  it  a  sort  of  a 
loosey-goosey  operation.     But  it  had  charm  to  it,   too. 

Fry:  Yes.     Well,  I  just  wonder,  who's  the  boss  in  a  case  like  that? 

Just  like  your  dad  had  a  problem  in   'U2. 

Warren:     It's  always  been  a  problem  in  political  campaigns  as  to  who's  the 
boss  when  it  comes  to  PR.     It's  a  big  problem.    . 

Fry:  At  any  rate,  did  Brown,  then,   appoint  you  to  your  judge ship? 

Warren:     Yes,  four  years  later. 

Democratic  and  Republican  Parties  Compared 

Fry:  Your  background,  I  suppose,   from  your  father  up,   is  early -Hiram 

Johnson-type  progressivisra — am  I  guessing  right? 

Warren:     Yes. 

Fry:  And  you  moved  into  the  Democratic  party  from  what  in  California 
had  become  a  Republican  party,  as  much  as  we  have  parties  here. 
[Laughter ] 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Warren:  Yes.  Well,  I  first  became  really  aware  of  the  political  mixture, 
so  to  speak,  at  about  the  same  time  I  suppose  most  children  do — 
when  I  was  getting  into  my  later  teens. 

The  first  real  awareness  that  I  had  that  some  of  my  prior  con 
cepts  were  shallow  was  when  Harry  Truman  won  the  presidency  the 
time  that  my  father  ran  on  the  ticket  with  Dewey.  There  was  some 
thing  tremendously  significant  about  that,  and  from  then  'on  I 
started  to  really  deeply  inquire  into  what  it  was,  and  for  the 
first  time  I  came  to  realize  the  basic  differences  between  the  two 
parties.  I  had  always  thought  of  the  Republican  party  in  terms  of 
my  father  and  his  cohorts,  the  people  that  he  surrounded  himself 
with,  and  how  he  operated.  But  then  I  realized  that  his  philosophy 
didn't  differ  from  those  of  the  major  Democratic  leaders,  and  that 
really,  he  sounded  very  much  like  a  Democrat,  and  in  many  respects 
seemed  to  be  more  so  than  they  were.  Then  I  learned,  through  in 
quiry,  that  the  traditional,  organized  Republican  party  had  always 
been  opposed  to  my  father,  and  had  tried  to  block  him  all  the  way 
along  the  line,  and  that  everything  he  had  done  had  been  done  in 
spite  of  it,  and  that  all  the  great  progress  for  which  he  was  noted 
was  done  through  Democratic  support,  and  a  general  lack  of  Republi 
can  support — except  for  those  few  Republicans  who  were  of  his  own 
brand  of  thinking. 

I  searched  my  conscience  for  a  long  time  as  to  what  to  do,  and 
at  one  time  decided  I  definitely  would  stay  as  a  Republican.  But 
in  the  latter  *50s  it  became  obvious  that  to  be  a  minority  in  a 
minority  party  was  going  to  be  a  completely  untenable  position — you 
wouldn't  have  an  opportunity  to  be  really  productive.  And  it 
appeared  that  Dad's  brand  of  Republicanism  was  on  the  wane,  very 
definitely  on  the  wane.  And  that  a  more  repressive  type  of  Repub 
licanism  was  going  to  be  in  control  for  a  long  time.  So  I  decided 
I  had  better  be  where  my  philosophy  and  Dad's  basically  lay,  and 
that  was  in  the  Democratic  party. 

Fry:     Yes.  Did  you  have  any  talks  with  your  Dad  about  this,  when  he  was 
still  in  Sacramento?   Seems  like  you  were  working  through  it  in 
your  mind  for  a  long  time . 

Warren:  Oh,  yes.  In  fact  I  talked  to  him  constantly  for  about  ten  years. 

And  he  always  simply  said  to  go  where  I  felt  I  was  most  comfortable. 

Fry:     And  did  he  see  too  that  a  great  many  of  his — well,  the  types  of 
legislation  that  he  pushed  hardest  were  supported  largely  by 

Warren:  Oh,  yes.  He  certainly  did.  And  I  very  strongly  suspect  that  if 
he  was  in  my  position,  he  would  have  become — at  the  same  time,  and 
at  the  same  age — a  Democrat.  I  would  not  have  changed  parties 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Warren:     if  I  had  thought  that  in  any  respect  this  would  indicate  a  differ 
ence  in  philosophies  between  the  two  of  us.     In  fact,  one  of  the 
reasons  I  did  become   a  Democrat  was  because  I  felt  this  was  an 
indication  that  he  also  was. 

Fry:  I  guess  maybe  it  really  wasn't  as  necessary,   anyway,  for  your  dad 

to  change  parties? 

Warren:     No.     There 'd  be  no  sense  for  him  to  change  at  that  late     stage. 
Fry:  Because  he  had  the  support  of  the  Democrats  without  being  one. 

Warren:     Yes. 

Fry:  And  actually  changing  parties  probably  wouldn't  have  helped  him 

any  politically. 

Warren:     Oh,  no I     It  wouldn't.     No,  there  was  nothing  to  gain,   and  as  a 
matter  of  fact — 

Fry:  He  probably  would  have  lost  a  lot  of  Republican  support. 

Warren:     As  a  remaining  example  of  progressive  Republicanism,  he  was  of 
considerable  value  to  the  country,   and  I'm  glad  he  stayed  there 
where  he  was,   at  that  time.     Because,   after  all,  by  that  time  he 
was  on  the  Court,   and  to  change  parties  would  have  injected  poli 
tics  into  the  Court,  which  is  something  that  he  never  would 
countenance . 

Fry:  Oh  sure.     I  was  thinking  about  if  he  had  changed  in   *U6.     Let's 

see,  he  ran  on  both  tickets,   anyway. 

Warren:     Yes.     Well,  he  had  control  of  — 

Fry:  That  would  have  been  the  first  time,  I  guess,  when  he  was  beginning 

to  see  that  he  couldn't  get  Republican  support  in  the  legislature, 
because  his  health  plan  legislation  had  failed. 

Warren:     He  controlled  the  Republican  party  then  just  by  his  own  dominance 
in  the  scene  at  that  time,   and  the  more  reactionary  elements  in 
the  party  simply  couldn't  get  a  toe -hold. 

You  know,  one  of  the  most  significant  things  in  his  background 
is  the  fact  that  right  off  the  bat  he  was  not  supported  by  the 
traditional  Republican  party  elements.     When  he  ran  for  Attorney 
General,  the  party  told  him,    "Well,  we  can't  do  much  for  you 
financially,  because  we're  going  to  put  all  our  money  into  beating 
Olson."     So  he  went  with  his  own  finance  people,  raised  his  own 
funds,   and  didn't  become  beholden  to  anybody  in  the  party.     Then 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Warren:     when  he — 

Fry:  Who  was  that  in  the  traditional  party  in   '38,  was  that  Knowland? 

Warren:     No.     Oh,  no.     These  were  the  Republican  Central  Committees,   and 
the  people  who  held  the  purse  strings.     The  big-monied  interests, 
and  so  forth,  that  generally  support  the  Republican  campaigns. 
Then  came  the  race  for  the  governorship,   and  he  declared  for  it, 
and  the  party  told  him,  basically,  that  he  could  not  win,   and 
that  they  were  going  to  put  their  support  behind  lesser  candidates 
instead.     So  he  said,    "Fine.     I'll  go  with  my  own  people,"  and  he 
did  and  he  put  together  a  campaign  that  darn  near  dumped  Olson  in 
the  primary — came  very  close  to  winning  both  nominations.     As  soon 
as  this  happened,  the  party  then  said,   "Well,  now,  here's  what  we're 
going  to  do  for  you--"  and  came  up  with  offers  of  support .     And  it 
may  have  been  one  of  my  father's  most  brilliant  moves  when  he   said, 
"No  thanks,  I'll  stay  with  my  own  people."    He  did,   and  of  course 
he  won  handily.     As  a  consequence  of  this  action,  when  people  in 
the  party  subsequently  came  to  him  and  said,    "Well,  now,  we  want 
you  to  do  this  or  that,"  he  could  say,    "I'm  sorry.     I  don't  owe 
you  anything  at  all.     I'm  going  to  go  with  the  best  people 
possible,   and  if  you  are  that  best  person,  you'll  be  appointed; 
if  you  are  not  that  person,  then  it'll  be  somebody  else."     And  he 
never,   for  this  reason,  ever  had  to  answer  to  anybody.     He  was  a 
completely  free  and  independent  man,   and  this  probably  is  more 
responsible  than  anything  else  for  his  ability  to  move  things 
through  the  legislature  and  do  the  things     that  he  did  as     governor. 

Fry:  And  his  appointments  were  so — across  the  board,   as  far  as  political 

parties  were  concerned. 

Warren:     Yes. 

Fry:     You  mentioned  the  tremendous  strain  on  your  Dad  during  the  investi 
gation  into  the  John  Kennedy  assassination.  What  was  his  rela 
tionship  to  John  Kennedy? 

Warren:  He  felt  very  close  to  him.  Yes.  The  President — 

Fry:     He  did.  Did  they  have  quite  a  lot  of  intercourse  together,  or — ? 

Warren:  When  necessary.  They  were  always  tremendously  cordial  to  each 
other,  and  the  President  did  call  him  up  in  regard  to  certain 
judicial  appointments,  and  asked  his  counsel  and  so  forth,  which 
has  been  quite  rare  in  recent  times.  Of  course  this  delighted  him, 
and  they — he  felt  very  strongly  about  it,  and  was  quite  disturbed 
about  the  mood  of  the  country  which  would  have  created  an  assassina 
tion  like  this. 

Fry:     You  said  you  became  very  involved  in  the  Kennedy  campaign,  after 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Fry:  you  registered  as  a  Democrat.     Why  did  you  choose  Kennedy,  rather 

than  Stevenson  or  some  of  the  other  leading  Democrats  at  that 
time?     I  remember  at  the  convention  the  Stevenson  delegates  were 
very  adamant . 

Warren:     Well,  I  mostly  got  in  the  general  election  phase  of  it,  but  I'd 
been  quite  impressed  by  Kennedy  when  he  was  seeking  the  vice- 
presidential  nomination  the  term  before,   and  had  watched  him  since 
then,   and  I  just  had  a  feeling  about  the  man.     Well,  I  guess  it 
was  his  charisma  that  was  starting  to  catch  hold  at  that  time,   and 
people  were  beginning  to  think  that  here  was  a  fellow  who  had  a 
strange  ability  to  move  people,   and  move  them  in  the  right  direc 
tion.     It  was  just  beginning  to  catch  on  then,   strongly.     Of  course 
I  was  not  pro-Nixon,   in  any  sense. 

Fry:  No.     That  leads  me  to  another  question  instantly.     I  pick  up  should 

I  say  vibrations  here  and  there  that  there  was  a  nice  camaraderie 
between  your  father  and  Pat  Brown  after  your  father  went  to 
Washington . 

Warren:  And  before,  too. 

Fry:  And  before? 

Warren:  Oh,  yes. 

Fry:  Could  you  tell  about  that? 

Warren:     Well,  Brown  was  a  fine  attorney  general,   and  very  supportive  of  my 
father's  objectives.     And  it  was  nice  to  have  him  in  that  office, 
because  we'd  had  an  unfortunate  circumstance  just  prior  to  that — 
very  unfortunate — in  that  office,   and  a  lot  of  work  needed  to  be 
done.     And  Brown  did  it,   and  did  it  well.     He  was  always  very 
supportive,   and  there  was  never  any  friction  that  I  know  of  between 
him  and  my  father — ever. 

They  were  always  friendly,   and  then  after  Brown  became  governor 
he  quite  avowedly  continued  my  father's    policies    to  the  best  of  his 
ability.     There  was  a  splendid  rapport.     In  later  years,  particularly 
in  the  second  term,  he  quite  frequently  informally  consulted  my 
father.     Not  in  regard  to  an  advisory  capacity,  I'm  sure,  just  a 
desire  to  make  sure  that  he  wasn't  going  astray  from  my  father's 

Fry:  I  remember  at  least  once  that  they  went  duck-hunting  or  deer- 

hunting  together. 

Warren:     Oh,  yes.     Yes,  he  used  to — 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Fry:  In  fact,   one  knowledgeable  observer  told  me  that  the  feeling  was 

at  one  time — it  was  when — It  was  during  the  campaign  between  Nixon 
and  Brown,   and  your  father  came  out  and  went  deer-hunting  with 
Brown.     And  they  said,   as  Supreme  Court  Justice,  he  couldn't  come 
out  for  one  candidate  or  the  other,  but  that  they  felt  this 
friendly  gesture  with  Brown  just  at  that  time  could  have  served 
that  purpose . 

Warren:     I  forget  whether  or  not  they  actually  went  hunting  at  that  time, 
but  I  know  there  was  a  public  meeting  between  the  two  that  had 
the  same  effect. 

Fry:  And  was  it  designed  for  that  effect? 

Warren:     Well,  I  guess  you'd  have  to  ask  the  two  old  politicians  that! 
[Laughter ] 

Fry:  All  right. 

Warren:     I  feel  certain  that  each  of  them  had  that  in  mind— not  necessarily 
that  that  would  be  the  effect,  but  knowing  that  that  would  be  the 
interpretation.      [Laughter] 

Fry:  Yes.     Oh  I     I'm  sure  they  must  have  known!      [Laughter]     Right. 

Warren:     Yes.     You  can't  avoid  that.     Neither  man  was  politically  naive 

enough  not  to  recognize  that  that  interpretation  would  be  put  on 

Fry:  What  does  your  father  think  about  Goody  Knight? 

Warren:     Well,  I   suppose  those  views — 

Fry:  You'd  just  said,   as  the  tape  changed,  that  Goody  Knight  did  oppose 

some  of  Warren's  programs.     Was  it  his  programs  when  he  was 
lieutenant  governor?     Or  his  election? 

Warren:     Well,  he  personally  worked  against  my  father  while  he  was  lieutenant 
governor,  which  created  considerable  stress.     There  was  a  time  I 
recall  when  Dad  went  out  of  the  state  leaving,  of  course,  Goody  in 
charge.     And  Goody  immediately,   as  I  recall,  paroled  two  people 
that  my  father  had  adamantly  refused  to  parole,   thus  causing  politi 
cal  embarrassment.     He  was  also  constantly  trying  to  align  the 
official  Republican  party  against  my  father.     And  prior  to  the 
election  in  1950  had  succeeded  in  lining  up  a  number  of  the  major 
Central  Republican  Committees,   including  Sacramento's  and  Los  Angeles' 
as  I  recall,   and  had  announced  that  he  was  going  for  the  governor 
ship,  regardless  of  whether  Dad  ran  or  not.     Then,   at  the  last 
moment,  he  announced  that  he  would  not — that  he  would  stay  where 
he  was. 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Warren:     These  things  went  on  and  on,   and  he  was  courting  the  ultra- 
conservative  elements  of  the  Republican  party  all  the  time,   and 
playing  footsie  with  the  Tom  Werdel  people,   and  things  of  that 
sort.     So  there  was  no  great  camaraderie  between  the  two  men. 
Of  course  after  my  father  left,  Goody  had  enough  political  savvy 
not  to  rock  the  ship  too  much,   and  so  the  programs  that  had  been 
initiated  in  my  father's  era  largely  continued  on.     Which  was 
good — that  the  opposite  did  not  occur. 

Fry:  Yes.     Knight  seemed  to  sort  of  turn  into  a  natural  liberal,  or 

else  he  always  was  one,  but  was  trying  to  court  favors  from  the 
Werdel  forces,  or  something.     Do  you  know  why  he  withdrew  his  hat 
from  the  ring? 

Warren:     Sure.     He  was  just  smart  enough  to  realize  he  was  going  to  get 
tromped . 

Fry:  He  just  changed  his  mind,  then? 

Warren:     Yes.     The  cards  weren't  there.     He  didn't  hold  enough.     Jty  father 
at  that  time  simply  had  too  strong  a  control  of  the  situation. 
Even,  I  suppose,   if  Goody  had  managed  to  garner  the  Republican 
nomination,  my  father  still  had  an  excellent  chance  of  grabbing 
the  Democratic  nomination  and  beating  him  anyway.     Cross-filing 
was  still  in  effect.     So  all  these  things  were  definite  possibilities 
and  Goody  was  smart  enough  to  see  them. 

Fry:  I  guess  he  had  wanted  to  run  for  governor  for  a  long,  long  time. 

Warren:     Yes. 

Fry:  And  then  finally  your  father  went  to  Washington.      [Laughter] 

Who  would  be  a  good  person  to  talk  to  about  Goody  Knight?  If 
you  had  to  choose  someone  who  was  the  closest  to  him,  who  would  it 

Warren:     I  don't  know,  but  I  would  think  Pop  Small  could  help  you  a  lot  on 
that.     Perhaps  Jim  Oakley.     Have  you  talked  to  him  yet? 

Fry:  I  will  this  afternoon. 

Warren:  I  don't  know  how  freely  he  talks,  on  these  things.  Pretty  discreet 
man,  and  he  might  not  want  to  talk  about  things  like  this.  But  Pop 
Small's  been  pretty  outspoken  on  most  things,  recently. 

Fry:  Yes,  he's  been  putting  a  lot  of  articles  in  the  Bee,  hasn't  he? 

I  had  dinner  with  the  Smalls  last  night.     Pop  has  been  interviewed; 
we  have  several  tapes  which  are  just  being  processed.     He's  men 
tioned  a  few  things  about  Goody,   and  about  all    it  amounts  to  is 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Fry:  that  I  think  it  was  difficult  for  the  office  staff  to  take  Goody 

Knight  seriously  after  working  with  your  father.      [Laughter] 
I  mean  it  was  difficult,  I  think,  for  them  to  accept  him. 

You  mentioned  yesterday  that  your  dad  usually  had  to  raise 
his  own  money,   because  he  couldn't  count  on  it  from  the  formal 
Republican  organization. 

Warren:     Yes. 

Fry:  I  was  just  flipping  through  my  cards  at  lunch  today,   and  I  noticed 

a  note  in  there  from  somewhere  else  that  said— Oh,   it  was  from  Pop 
Small — that  Warren  usually  just  had  a  friend  in  each  county  to  take 
charge  of  his  campaign,   and  he  just  ran  it  as  a  lone  thing,  without 
any  particular  connection  to  formal  Republican  structure. 

Warren:     I  think  that's  true,  yes.     I  think  that's  generally  true. 

Fry:  Which  dovetails  with  what  you  were  saying.  And  I'm  trying  to  get 

some  line  on  how  he  would  raise  funds  for  the  campaign  like  this, 
and  over  and  over  again  I  have  picked  up  some  names.     I'd  like  for 
you  to  see  if  this  meshes  with  what  you  remember:     that  in  Northern 
California  some  of  his  major  fund-raisers  were  Feigenbaum,  Mr. 
Steinhart,  Mailliard — who's  now  Congressman — Walter  Haas;   and  in 
L.A.,  Preston  Hotchkis? 

Warren:     Well,   all  those  people  were  involved  to   some  extent.     How  heavily, 
I  don't  know.     Jesse  Steinhart,  I  know,  was.     Pres  Hotchkis     was, 
I  guess — at  least  in  the  later  years.     I  don't  know  about  the 
early  years. 

Fry:  In  the  later  campaigns. 

Warren:     Yes.     You  see  the  real  critical  ones,  of  course,  were  the  early 
years.     And  I  wouldn't  be  surprised  if  some  of  those  people  have 
never  been  heard  of  again.      [Laughter]     You  know,  that's  the  type 
of  a —       These  were  just  nice,   sound  people  who  probably  just 
picked  up  nickels  and  dimes  where  they  could  find  them. 

Fry:  Yes.     I  think  they  were  described  to  me  as  community-chest  types. 

Warren:     Yes.     Nice  people.     Good  solid  citizens. 

Fry:  And  they  were  in  the  circle  of  friends  who  could  afford  to  donate 

money  to  political  campaigns,   and  so  they  did  so. 

Warren:     Yes.     I  suspect  that's  true. 

Fry:  Are  there  any  other  names  that  you  might  add  to  that? 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Warren:  No.  In  the  financial  world  I'm  just  not  too  sure.  I  never  did 
pay  too  much  attention  to  that. 

Fry:     Were  you  ever  involved  in  helping  in  a  campaign? 

Warren:  In  his  campaigns?  No.  The  boys  studiously  avoided— deliberately 
avoided — any  involvement  in  the  campaigning. 

Fry:     [Laughter]  In  19^8  you  would  have  been  18,  and  I  thought  maybe 
you  were  there  then.  But  you  weren't.  You  were  busy  with 
agriculture  at  Davis. 

Warren:  Jim  was  too  old.  I  mean  he  was  off  on  his  own,  basically,  most  all 
the  time.  And  so  he  didn't  have  to  get  involved.  And  I  simply 
didn't  want  to  get  involved,  and  kind  of  said  no,  and  Dad  never 
forced  us  on  any  of  these  things.  I'm  sure  there  were  plenty  of 
overtures,  but  I  always  demurred,  and  my  brother  Bob  was  of  much 
the  same  bent,  so  he  just  rode  along  with  me,  and  we  stayed  out. 
The  girls  being  better  sports  or  [laughter]  having  a  better  social 
consciousness  at  that  age,  did  go  along  and  were  quite  effective, 
I  think. 

Fry:     Our  office  just  got  the  most  gorgeous  pictures  of  any  females  I 
have  ever  seen,  of  your  sisters.  They  are  big  glosses  that  were 
made  for  the  presidential  campaign  in  19^*8.  I  can't  see  how  anyone 
would  fail  to  vote  for  your  father  with  those  girls  standing  there! 
[Laughter]  All  the  virile  young  men  in  the  nation  would  tear  to 
the  polls  and  cast  their  vote. 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 



Fry:  Someone  put  this  article  on  my  desk;   it  came  out  on  July  1,  1970, 

on  something  you  and  I  were  talking  about  here  just  before  I 
turned  on  the  tape  recorder — the  invasion  of  privacy  that  seems  to 
be  more  and  more  socially  acceptable,  the  computerized  data  banks 
on  private  citizens  that  are  being  suggested  in  all  the  government 

Let  me  just   show  you  this  article  now.     At  the  end  of  the  article 
it  gives  the  Warren  Report  as  the  basis  for  supporting  this  sort 
of  thing.     If  this  is  the  way  this  turn  of  events  is  going  to  be 
traced  in  history,  I  think  it  needs  some  sort  of  discussion  and 

Warren:      [Reads  article]     I  don't  think  that  that's  what  was  intended  by 

the  report.     I'm  sure  there  are  individual  members  of  that  commis 
sion  who  would  ascribe  to  this  very  wholeheartedly,  but  that  is  not 
my  father's  philosophy.     I'm  sure  that  he,  probably  more  than  any 
other  citizen,  knows  the  dangers  of  invading  privacy  here  in  the 
United  States.     Because  if  we  do  very  much  of  this  we  have  no 
America  as  we've  known  it  in  the  past. 

Fry:  Didn't  your  father  come  out  in  a  public  speech  this  year  against 

a  bill  which  was  to  keep  tabs  on  people  who  might  be  potential 
rioters  or  something  like  this? 

Warren:     He  could  have,  although  I  don't  know  about  it. 

However,  he  did  speak  out  on  what  they  call  Title  II.     This 
was  a  portion  of  the  McCarran  Act  which  provided  for  internment 
of  people  in  times  of  national  emergency,   and  which  smacked  of  the 
internment  of  the  Japanese  during  World  War  II.     The  Japanese- 
American  citizens  of  the  United  States  have  been  spear-heading  the 
fight  to  remove  this  from  the  McCarran  Act,   even  though  it  does 
not  necessarily  involve  them.     In  fact  it's  quite  remote  that  it 
would  ever  involve  them  again.     But  on  principle  they  want  to  see 
this  go,   and  they  feel  it  also  adds  to  the  tensions  of  the  Black 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Warren:  population,  because  it  suggested  this  could  be  used  for  Blacks. 
In  truth,  it  could  be  used  for  any  type  of  political  prisoner; 
it  is  a  very  obnoxious  thing.  And  Dad  sent  a  letter  to  the 
president  of  the  Japanese-American  Citizens  League — 

Fry:     Masaoka? 

Warren:     in  which  he   said  that  he  totally  opposed  this  provision  of  the  law, 
and  that  it  was  a  terrible  thing.     Basically,  he  said  that  the 
internment  of  the  Japanese  had  been  an  unfortunate  circumstance, 
and  that  this  type  of  thing  should  not  have  an  opportunity  to 
happen  again.     This  letter  was  used  in  testimony  by  the  Japanese- 
American  Citizens  League  before  the  committee  that  was  hearing  the 

Fry:  I  see.     I  think  that's  what  I  was  thinking  of. 

Warren:     It's  the  only  time  that  I  know  of  that  he's  spoken  out  against 
special  legislation,   although  I  think  he's  taken     a  few  raps  at 
the  current  no-knock  law  proposals.     I  don't  know  whether  he's 
specified  them,   but  I  think  he's  suggested  that  they  are  not 

Fry:  Is  that  also  the  first  time  that  he's  publicly  come  out  and  said 

that  the  Japanese  internment  was  a  mistake? 

Warren:     I'm  sure  that  he  feels  that  the  internment  was  a  mistake.     Yes, 
there's  no  question  about  that;  in  retrospect  it  was  an  unneces 
sary  act  and  it  was  a  cruel  act.     It  should  not  have  happened. 
Of  course  he  couldn't  have  prevented  it,   because  it  was  a  federal 
mandate,  but  he  went  along  with  it,   as  did  everybody  else.     And  at 
that  time  the  information  that  was  being  given  was  that  it  was 
necessary — the  federal  government  and  the  military,  they  were 
giving  us  information.     And  there  were  some  other  signs  that  tended 
to  corroborate  that  evidence,   and  that's  why  practically  everybody 
did  do  this,  did  support — 

Fry:  It  was  widely  accepted — 

Warren:     It  was  just  a  unanimous  feeling. 

People  were  in  shock,   for  we  hadn't  realized  that  we  were  at 
all  vulnerable,  particularly  from  a  country  such  as  Japan.     Suddenly 
our  fleet  had  been  largely  destroyed,   and  destroyed  in  American 
waters.     So  he  went  along.     But  he  was  the  first  American  of  any 
prominence  to  try  to  undo  the  effects  of  that.     He  did  all  sorts 
of  things.     Not  just  to  put  these  people  back  where  they  were  be 
fore,  but  to  actually  advance  them  beyond  what  they  were.     He 
appointed  judges  who  were  Japanese  and  brought  other  Japanese 
into  government,   even  in  a  time  when  this  was  considered  still 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Warren:     almost  treasonous  by  some  people.     And  he  even  went  beyond  that, 

for  as  soon  as  the  war  was  over,  he  immediately  started  developing 
pride  in  the  Japanese  race  in  general  by  developing  ties  with 
Japan,  with  exchange  programs  of  all    sorts,  bringing  their  people 
over  here  and  sending  ours  over  there,   and  a  wide  number  of  things 
to  really  put  that  situation  back  where  it  should  have  been. 

Fry:  Pop  Small  has  an  article  coming  out  on  the  exchange  of  the 

Japanese  farmers  that  took  place  at  that  time.     I  think  that's 
going  to  be  his  next  one . 

Warren:     I  don't  know  whether  that  program's  still  going  on,  but  when  I  was 
a  farm  adviser  I  used  to  receive  those  groups  all    the  time  in 
Alameda  County.     They  certainly  know  who  started  the  program. 

Fry:  That  it  started  under  your  dad? 

Warren:     Yes. 

Fry:  I  was  talking  to  Carey  McWilliams,  and  he  has,  of  course,   seen  what 

he  considers  to  be  a  big  change  in  your  father.     And  it's  kind  of 
interesting  to  see  that  McWilliams*  own  attitude  toward  your 
father  has  changed. 

Warren:     I  think  the  only  people  who  have  seen  changes  in  my  father  are 

people  who  have  changed  themselves.     I  don't  think  my  father  has 
ever  changed. 

Fry:  I  think  Carey  McWilliams1  view  are  still  the  same,  but  it  may  be 

that  he  didn't  see  the  liberal  indications  in  your  father  in  1938 
and   '39>  and  in  the  early  'UOs,  which  is  when  McWilliams  was 
here  in  California.     See,  he  never  knew  your  father  personally,  I 
think.     So  I  think  at  that  time  he  was  judging  your  father  from  his 
public  acts,   and  your  father  didn't  have  much  chance  to  show  any 
sort  of  social  concern  when  he  was  district  attorney  or  attorney 
general,  like  he  did  later  when  he  was  governor. 

Warren:     Right.     But  that's  it.     He  is  judged  by  the  roles  that  he  was 

playing  at  the  particular  time,   and  some  of  his  ideas  had,   as  you 
suggest,  very  limited  running  room.     He  was  known  as  a  tough  prose 
cutor,   during  his  early  years — really  tough.     The  toughest  the 
state  had,   and  probably  the  toughest  the  nation  had  ever  had,   and 
the  most  effective.     And  then,  later  on,   as  attorney  general,  he 
was  much  the  same,  but  then  his  horizons  were  broadened  somewhat, 
and  he  began  to  get  into  other  programs  which  indicated  a  more 
liberal  philosophy.     When  he  became  governor,  of  course,  he  had  a 
wide  spectrum  to  deal  with,   and  when  he  became  Chief  Justice,   again 
he  had  a  different  spectrum.     There  really  wasn't  any  change  at  all 
in  the  man.     If  you  go  back  even  to  the  district  attorney  days, 
you  realize  that  he  wasn't  reversed  in  any  of  his  cases,  which 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Warren:  means  simply  that  he  wasn't  using  oppressive  tactics  in  order 

to  get  his  convictions.  And  if  he  wasn't  using  oppressive  tactics 
in  those  days  when  they  weren't  thinking  in  terms  of  civil  rights, 
you  know  the  man  hasn't  changed  very  much. 

Fry:     Right. 

Warren:  So  he  was  tough  and  effective,  but  apparently  in  those  days  would 
have  to  be  considered — even  in  today's  terminology — quite  liberal — 
from  a  civil  libertarian  standpoint.  So  I  think  when  people  view 
him  as  having  changed,  it  is  they  who  have  changed,  not  him. 

Fry:     I've  talked  to  other  law  enforcement  people  from  that  period,  and 
it's  hard  for  us  to  realize  now  what  the  professionally  acceptable 
methods  of  collecting  evidence  were. 

There  was  widespread  bugging  which  was  used  as  courtroom 
evidence,  and  it  was  nothing  unusual  to  question  a  suspect  for  2k 
hours,  with  teams  coming  in.  [Laughter] 

Warren:  Yes. 

Fry:  I  don't  know  whether  your  father  ever  did  anything  like  that  or  not, 

but  I  knew  it  was  widespread  practice,   and  it  was  accepted  practice 
at  that  time . 

Warren:     Of  course  not.     It's  my  understanding  that  he  ordered  the  prime 

suspect  in  the  murder  of  his  father  released  simply  because  he  felt 
he  had  been  unfairly  questioned. 

Fry:  Oh,  that's  a  story  that  Oscar  Jahnsen  tells,  too.     And  the  police 

chief  tells  me  that  he  wasn't  really  a  prime  suspect,  but  it  could 
have  happened.     There  were  so  many  law  officers  from  different  com 
munities  who  came  in  that  this  could  have  happened  in  Bakersfield, 
a  suspect  could  have  been  questioned  for  a  long  time. 

Warren:     Well,  this  one  particular  man  was  questioned  for  an  awfully  long 

time.     It  wasn't  a  brutal  thing,   at  all,  but  it  wasn't  within  what 
my  father  thought  was  fair — although  it  was  perfectly  fair  within 
the  general  context  of  that  day. 

Fry:  And  then  later  there  was  a  man  in  San  Quentin,  I  think,  who  was 

also  a  suspect,   and  they  wanted  to  bug  his  cell,   and  your  father 
said  no,   and  he  wouldn't  let  them. 

Warren:     One  of  the  suspects — the  one  they  held  the  longest — I  think  they 
held  him  two  weeks — came  in  to  see  me  the  other  day. 

Fry:  Who  was  that?     Was  that  the  man  named  Reagan? 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 






No.     I  would  remember  if  it  was  that.     I've  got  his  name  down 
here  someplace.     Awfully  nice  fellow.     He  actually  had  no  in 
volvement,  he  wasn't  a  criminal;  he  was  just  a  drifter  of  sorts. 
He  came  in  and  told  all  about  how  the  investigation  worked,   and 
so  forth.     He  had  heard  that  he  was  being  looked  for  and  he  had 
hopped  a  train  and  got  down  there  to  Bakersfield  and  turned  him 
self  in.     They  held  him  for  a  couple  of  weeks,   and  finally  found 
out  that  he  unjustly  had  the  finger  pointed  at  him  and  turned  him 

loose.     He's  been  a  great  friend  of  policemen  ever  since, 
really  a  very  quaint  story. 


Yes.     Well,  I  wonder  which  one  he  was?     Because  I  was  told,   and  I 
don't  know  whether  this  is  true  or  not,  that  the  prime   suspect 
that  they  had  down  there  is  now  dead.     I  mean  that  the  local 
police  department  had. 

And  then  I  got  into  this  business  (laughter) — after  I'd  gone 
to  interview  people  in  Bakersfield  and  came  back,  I  saw  a  news 
paper  article  in  the  Examiner  that  said  that  some  of  the  prime 
suspects  had  been  black,   and  that  it  was  rumored  among  the  Negro 
community  in  the  state  that  Warren  as  governor  had  a  prejudice 
against  black  people  because  he  thought  one  had  killed  his  father. 
And  I  realized  I  had  not  asked  if  any  of  them  were  black. 

I  never  heard  that.     I've  never  heard  it  mentioned. 

No.     Well,  we  wouldn't  have.     I  think  it  was  rattling  around  just 
in  the  Negro  community,   and  the  Negro  reporter  who  told  me  herself 
that  she  knew  this  was  untrue  at  the  time,  but  nevertheless  they 
had  this  feeling  that  it  was  the  reason  he  wasn't  moving  fast  enough 
on  FEPC,  or  giving  enough  pressure  on  FEPC. 

Well,  I'd  be  surprised,  really,   if  they  had  any  black  suspects  and 
didn't   say  so,  because  you  have  to  realize  that  that  part  of  the 
state  was,   and  still  is,  basically  a  little  hunk  of  the  South.     And 
that  blacks  are  blacks  to  most  of  those  people  down  there.     And 
they  don't  mind  saying  so. 

It  turned  out  they  had  had  a  couple  of  black     suspects. 

But  I  don't  think  they  were  of  any  particular  significance. 
Because  the  police  didn't  realize  at  that  time  what  they  were  deal 
ing  with.     They  didn't  know  whether  they  had  a  murderer  who  was  just 
a  casual  intruder,   so  to  speak,  or  whether  they  had  somebody  who 
was  incredibly  cagey,  the  signs  were  all  mixed — enough  to  point  to 
the  possibility  of  a  crude  robbery — a  very  blundering  type  robbery — 
enough  to  indicate  involvement  of  somebody  who  was  mentally  very 
unalert;    but  weird  enough  to  suggest  that  maybe  somebody  had  been 
just  smart  enough  to  cover  the  trail  that  much.     It  was  a  very 
confusing  crime. 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Fry:     There  are  still  people  in  Bakersfield — and  these  are  your  right- 
wingers— who  tell  me  that  Earl  Warren  had  this  covered  up. 

Warren:  Oh,  I'm  sure  they  say  that.  There  are  plenty  of  right-wingers  down 
there,  too,  I'll  tell  you  that. 

Fry:     Yes,  there  are. 

It  was  interesting  in  Bakersfield.     I  went  to  the  library  and 
pulled  out  all  of  the  city  directories  during  the  period  when  your 
dad  lived  there,   and  part  of  the  time  after  he  left,  too,  because  I 
was  interested  in  your  grandfather.     The  city  directories  give  the 
person's     name  and  his  occupation  and  his  home  address.     Then  in 
some  of  them  there's  also  a  reverse  directory  where  you  look  it  up 
by  the  street  number,   and  it     tells  you  who  lives  there,   and  his 
occupation  (or  hers,    "housewife,"  or  something).     And  the  blacks 
were  listed  right  along  with  the  whites;  there  was  no  notation  of 
the  difference  in  skin  color.     I  looked  up  some  of  the  Negroes  that 
were  working  there  in  the  library  whose  parents  had  lived  there 
then,   and  they  were  listed  just  like  the  whites.     But  for  a  house 
where  an  Oriental  was  living,   all  it  said  was  "Oriental."     Period. 

Warren:     Really?  This  is  where? 

Fry:  In  Bakersfield,   between  1906  and  about  1920. 

Warren:     My  goodness! 

Fry:  So  that  Orientals  simply  didn't  count.     The  city  would  not  even 

list  their  names.  And  these  were  mostly  the  Chinese,  who  came  to 
work  on  the  railroad  when  it  came  in,  and  stayed  and  became  cooks 
and  gardeners. 

Warren:     As  I  understand  it,  I  think  it  was  the  town  of  Arvin,  which  is  just 
outside  of  Hanford,  which  at  one  time  was  the  largest  Chinese  settl 
ment  outside  the  Orient--in  fact  the  largest  Oriental  settlement 
outside  the  Orient.     It  almost  completely  disappeared,  but  now  it's 
coming  back  as  just  a  regular  subdivision  of  Hanford.     Apparently 
there  was  an  immense   settlement  there,   so  it  may  be  partly  the  fact 
of  the  number  of  Orientals  that  caused  this  problem. 

Fry:  Yes.     I  sort  of  got  the  idea  that  maybe  your  father  had  grown  up  in 

a  town  where  blacks  seemed  to  be  more  accepted  just  like  whites. 
They  also  had  middle-class  type  jobs.     And  they  lived  in  all  parts 
of  the  town.     There  was  no  one  section  of  blacks,   and  they  could 
move  around. 

Warren:     No,  but  that's  still  pretty  much — 
Fry:  You  don't  think  that's  true? 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Warren:     No,  I  think  they  were  definitely  something  below  second-class 
citizens,   in  the  minds  of  the  community. 

Fry:  Really? 

Warren:     Yes. 
Fry:  Why? 

Warren:     Oh,  I'm  sure  they  still  are!     Black  men  have  little   status  in  that 

Fry:  Yes.     I  think  that's  true  now. 

Warren:     It's  always  been. 

Fry:  I  think  that's  especially  true  since  the   '30s  migration  of  whites 

from  the  South  to  Bakersfield,  but  I  wasn't  sure  that  it  was  true 
in  1908.     They  probably  were   second-class  citizens,   but  I  mean 
there  were  only  a  few  of  them  and  they  were  relatively  well- 
integrated  in  this  community.     They  weren't  barred  from  restaurants, 
or  anything  like  this,   according  to  the   second-generation  black 
people  who  live  there  now. 

Warren:     Well,   at  one  time  there  were  so  very  few  that  they  posed  no  threat 
at  all,  but  as  the  numbers  became  greater,  you  know,   it — 

Fry:  Then  they  became  a  threat? 

Warren:     A  real  threat.     Do  you  know  that  The  Grapes  of  Wrath  still  is 
banned  in,  I  think,  Tulare  County,   in  the  schools? 

Fry:  I  wouldn't  be  surprised  I 

Warren:     Yes,   as  I  understand  it  it  was  a  few  years  ago.     That's  quite  an 
indicator,  you  know,   of  what  the  make-up  is. 

Fry:  Yes.     Well,   it's  terribly  hard  to  get  at  the  social  context  of  a 

community,   and  we'll  be  doing  more  interviews  around  just  to  pick 
up  a  social  picture  of  Bakersfield  as  best  we  can,   at  that  era. 

Warren:     You're  going  to  have  a  hard  time  doing  it. 

Fry:  Yes.     We're  having  difficulty  in  finding  enough  people  who  can 

reliably  report  on  what  it  was  like . 

Warren:     I  don't  think  there  are  hardly  any,  to  tell  you  the  truth.     Because 
other  people  have  tried  to  do  this  and  run  into  insurmountable 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Fry:  After  going  to  Bakersfield  I  found  one  person  in  Berkeley  who 

lived  pretty  close  to  where  the  Warrens  lived  and  whose  father 
worked  with  your  grandfather,   and  by  the  way,  they're  Negroes. 

We  have  four  interviews  with  classmates  who  are  more  able  to 
tell  what  the  school  was  like  than  what  Earl  Warren  was  like,  but 
it's  still  important  to  know  what  the  school  was  like.     It  was  a 
pretty  strict  affair  by  today's  standards.     It  was  an  amazing  class 
he  was  in. 

Warren:     Yes.     You  mean  as  to  the  people  it  produced? 

Fry:  Hie  fact  that  they  all  went  to  the  University — I  mean  all  the  boys 


Warren:     I  didn't  realize  that. 

Fry:  And  nearly  all  of  them  have  been  relatively  successful. 

I  must  let  you  go.     It's  two  o'clock  and  your  court  is  waiting, 
I  guess. 

Warren:     Okay.     Do  you  have  other  things  you  wanted  to  ask  me? 
Fry:  Oh,  yes,  I  do. 

Warren:     I  don't  know  how  long  my  calendar  will  take.     I  should  be  done  by 
four  if  you  want  to  wait  that  long.     We  can  take  whatever  time  you 

Fry:  Maybe  I  could  call  you.     I'm  going  to  be  down  at  Judge  Oakley's. 

Maybe  I  could  come  back  at  four. 

Warren:     Four,   four-thirty,   five — makes  no  difference  to  me. 

(Interview  3  -  July  9,  1970) 

Fry:  When  this  is  transcribed,  we  will  send  a  copy  to  you  to  look  over. 

We  try  to  take  out  the  ambiguities  that  creep  in  and  I  usually 
sharpen  up  my  questions  a  bit'.      [Laughter]     Then  it's  retyped  in 
a  nice  clean  copy  and  indexed  and  put  in  Bancroft  Library  under 
whatever  guarantees  you  want.     You  have  to  sign  a  legal  agreement 
with  the  Board  of  Regents  to  make  it  available  to  scholars. 

Warren:     Oh,  boy!     I'm  not  sure  they're  a  competent  body  to  sign  anything 
with '. 

Fry:  I  know.     This  may  all  be  invalidated  when  comes  the  revolution! 

[Laughter ] 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Warren:      [Laughter]     There  were  six  of  us,   judges  and  lawyers,  that  sat 

down  with  a  newspaper  reporter  a  couple  of  months  ago  and  talked 
on  constitutional  aspects.     This  was  to  celebrate  Law  Week.     It  was 
taped.     Usually  these  things  are  just  horrible.     Any  group  of 
people  over  three  is  miserable,   and  usually  two  is  the  maximum  you 
can  swing  at  any  one  time,   just  like  a  panel  discussion—they're 
usually  lousy,  you  know. 

But  this  one  was  really  good.     Everybody  was  so  articulate, 
and  so  precise,   and  stated  himself  so  well  on  the  various  sides  of 
the  issues,  that  I  was  thinking  to  myself  as  I  went  away— why  in 
the  dickens  couldn't  something  like  this  have  been  televised,   in 
stead  of  the  kind  of  stuff  that  you  usually  have?    Well  they  made 
up  a  big  full  page  on  this  in  the  newspaper,   and  everybody  was 
quoted  exactly — and  everybody  sounded  like  a  blithering  idiot. 

Fry:  Yes. 

Warren:  Because  they  had  not  taken  out  those  things  that — 

Fry:  The  false  starts  and  the  phrases  that  are  out  of  place — 

Warren:  Right.     And  there's  no  way  of  punctuating. 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 



Fry:  I  have  a  few  political  questions  that  you  might  be  able  to  shed 

some  light  on.     The  question  has  come  up  about  your  dad's  reaction 
to  the  defeat  in  19^8  when  he  ran  with  Dewey  on  the  presidential 
ticket  . 

Warren:     I  think  he  felt  that  it  was  in  the  wind  before  the  election 

transpired.     I  can  remember  him  talking  to  Dewey  many  times     for  an 
hour  or  so  on  the  phone,   and  although  I  couldn't  hear  what  was 
being  said  on  the  other  side,  I  can  remember  Dad  saying,    "But  Tom, 
you've  got  to  go  out  and  talk  to  the  people.  ""Tom,  you've  got  to  tell 
them  something."  "Tom,  you've  got  to  talk  about     the  issues."     "I 
know,  Tom,  but  you've  got  to  talk  to  the  people."     I  remember  hearing 
these  conversations  for  about  six  months,   and  then  I  remember  election 
night  down  in  San  Francisco  —  we  had  all    gone  down  there.     A  big 
victory  had  been  proclaimed,  but  Dad  seemed  rather  reticent  to  get 
too  excited  about  anything!      [Laughter]     And  when  the  results  started 
coming  in,  Truman  was  ahead,  but  everybody  was  saying,    "Well,  that's 
exactly  what  you'd  expect  at  this  stage."     It  must  have  been  only 
about  7:30  at  night,  when  Dad  called  me  over.     By  this  time  everybody 
was  whooping  it  up  and  having  a  big  time  proclaiming  this  great 
victory,  because  once  the  Republican  districts  started  coming  in, 
a  Republican  landslide  would  be  there.     He  said  to  me,    "Earl,   it's 
all  over.     Truman  has  licked  us  pretty  good."     And  I  remember  saying, 
"l  thought  that  these  returns  that  were  coming  in  were  only  very 
sporadic."     And  he  said,    "No,  I  know  these  districts,   and  the  pattern 
is  very,  very  firm.     We've  lost  this  one.     It's  all  over.     I  know 
you  children  have  school  tomorrow,   so  there's  no  use  your  waiting." 
He  said,   "Would  you  take  the  children  home?     You  don't  have  to  say 
anything  about  it,  if  you  don't  want  to,  but  it's  all  over."     So, 
while  everybody  was  celebrating,  he  knew.     Dad  always  knew  his 
people.     He  always  knew  them.     And  he  could  predict  with  just  the 
slightest  little  sampling  from  an  area  that  he  knew  as  to  which  way 
something  was  going  to  go.     He  didn't  need  a  whole  series  of  reports. 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 


Fry:  Or  like  the  Kennedys  used  the  computer. 

Warren:     Yes.     He  was  a  great  political  analyst,   and  strategist. 

Fry:  Afterwards  did  he  seem  to  regret  having  lost? 

Warren:     No.     In  fact  I'm  not  so  sure  that  maybe  in  a  way  he  wasn't  pleased 
with  the  fact  that  the  American  people  demanded  to  have  somebody 
speak  on  the  issues,   and  demanded  to  have   everything  right  out   in 
the  open.     I've  always  sensed  this.     He's  always  felt  a  very  strong 
kinship  to  Truman,   and  not  just  because  Truman  and  he  got  along 
nicely  together,  I  think  that  he  felt  here  was  a  very  sincere, 
dedicated  man  who  liked  people  and  who  had  the  pulse  of  people 
somehow,   and  had  some  answers  for  them. 

I'm  not  sure  that  he  really  felt  badly  about  that  race  at  all. 
And,  of  course,   as  it  turned  out  it  was  a  great  blessing. 

Fry:          Yes,  right.        [Laughter]       He  became  the  Chief  Justice. 

Irving  Stone  told  me  that  he  didn't  think  that  Earl  Warren 
wanted  to  run  for  vice-president  then.     That  before  he  went  to  New 
York  and  to  the  governors'  meeting  in  New  Hampshire,  just  before  the 
Republican  convention,  he  had  told  Irving  Stone  that  he  just  was  not 
going  to  run  for  vice-president,  that  he  would  consider  the  first 
slot  on  the  ticket,   but  not  vice-president,   and  that  it  was  that  or 
just  nothing.     And  then,  when  he  got  East, he  changed  his  mind  for 
reasons  that  Irving  Stone  gave  me :     that  he  was  a  little  alarmed 
over  the  talk  on  Wall' Street  of  wanting  to  slow  down  the  economy 
so  that  the  labor  unions  couldn't  have  as  much  control. 



I  don't  think  so.     Irving  was  never  very  close  to  my  father,   as  a 
political  adviser,   at  all.     It's  true,  that  when  Dewey  ran  the 
first  time  in  19^->  ray  father  felt  for  one  thing  it  was  a  lost 
cause,   and  second  thing,  he  just  didn't  feel  that  the  timing  was 
right.     He's  a  master  at  timing — political  timing.     He  could  have 
had  the  vice-presidential  nomination  at  that  time,  but  he  knew 
Bricker  was  available  and  ready  to  go.     So  he  turned  it  down  then. 
But  in   'U8  he  certainly  knew  that  he  would  have  to  run  if  asked. 
And  he  expected  to  be  asked. 

Okay.     So  you  don't  see  this,  then,   as  any  change  in  his  outlook 
after  he  got  back  East? 

No.     Because  he  wasn't  going  for  the  top  spot  then  seriously.     He 
was  going  for  the  top  spot   about  the  same  as  Kennedy  was  going  for 
the  top  spot  the  time  before  he  ran.     Really  he  was  looking  for  the 
prominence,  either  to  be  the  vice-president  or  to  be  the  maid-in- 
waiting,   so  to  speak. 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Fry:  And  then  he  wasn't  even  given  the  opportunity  during  the   campaign 

to  show  what  he  could  do. 

Warren:     Yes.     I  don't  think  he  was  very  keen  on  third  terms,   anyway.     I 
don't  think  he  really  expected  to  go  for  a  third  term  for  the 
governorship.     But  he  wouldn't  feel  too  badly  to  be  able  to  com 
plete  his  term  as  governor,   either,   because  there  were  a  lot  of 
things  he  wanted  to  do.     So:     One,  he  definitely  was  not  harboring 
any  real,  real  thoughts  of  grabbing  that  top  spot,   because  Dewey 
had  that  all  sewed  up. 

Fry:  Right.     He  did  by  then. 

Warren:     Long  ago — years  before.      [Laughter]     You  know,  the  party  hadn't 
changed,   he  was  their  boy.     Now,  of  course,   the  next  time  around 
was  an  entirely  different  situation. 

1952  Race 

Fry:  The  next  time  around,   in  1952,  Taft  was  a  leading  contender  before 

the  convention.     I  was  kind  of  comparing  in  my  mind  Taft's  outlook 
with  Warren's  outlook.     One  of  the  stories  I've  picked  up  was  that 
Taft  did  want  Bill  Knowland  to  be  his  running  mate ,   if  he  got  it . 
And  I  wondered  how  Taft  would  look  upon  Warren. 

Warren:     They  got  along  very  well- 
Fry:  This  is  a  relationship  that  not  many  people  have  really  talked 
about . 

Warren:     Well,  I  think  that  they  would  have  been  very  satisfactory.     Dad  had 
committed  himself  that  time  that  he  very  definitely  would  not  be  a 
vice-presidential  candidate.     And  he  meant  it  then;  that  was  dif 
ferent  from  19^8.     No,  he  made  a  solemn  pledge  that  he  was  only 
running  for  the  presidency  and  that  he  would  not  accept  the  vice- 
presidency.     And  he  meant  it.     So,  although  Taft  would  have  been 
delighted  to  have  him,   Taft  knew  that  when  Dad  said  something  he 
meant  it.     So  there  wasn't  any  speculation,   although  I  think  he 
would  have  been  delighted  to  have  had  Dad,  because  that  would  be 
by  far  the  strongest  ticket.     And  they  had  great  respect  for  each 
other,  even  though  their  philosophies  may  have  differed  to  a  sub 
stantial  degree.     Taft  was  a  very  honorable  man,   and  a  fairly 
humanitarian  man.     His  policies  may  have  seemed  a  little  outdated — 
to  Dad,  but  Dad  liked  him  very  much.     And  he  got  along  very  well 
with  the  Taft  people,   just  as  he  did  with  the  Eisenhower  people. 

Fry:  I  kind  of  thought  maybe  he  would  have. 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 




And  as  a  matter  of  fact ,  you  know — not  much  was  known  about 
Eisenhower  at  that  time.  In  fact,  it's  very  hard  to  say  that  Taft 
was  the  more  conservative  of  the  two. 


yes.     It  is  hard,  especially  in  retrospect. 

At  that  time,   see,  nobody  else  really  knew  either.     Nor  did  Dad 
know  exactly  where  Eisenhower  stood.     It  wasn't  even  known  for  a 
long  time  whether  he  was  going  to  be  a  Democrat  or  a  Republican. 
He  was  being  courted  by  both  parties. 

I  know.     No  one  had  any  idea.     And  Taft   at  the  time  was  best  known 
by  the  Taft-Hartley  Act,  while  a  lot  of  other  more  progressive 
legislation  he  had  pushed  was  relatively  unknown  to  the  general 
public . 

Warren:     Right.     He'd  really  been  a  fine  legislator. 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 


Fry:  I  picked  up  some  Tom  Werdel  stories  and  things  down  in  Bakersfield. 

There   are  still  Werdel  supporters  down  there . 

Warren:     I've  always  felt  that  the  Werdel  thing  had  grown  a  little  bit  out 

of  proportion.     The  only  significance  to  it  is  that  it  did  indicate 
that  the  Republican  party  in  California  still  had  tremendous  roots 
in  far  right  conservatism — that's  about  the  only  significance. 
Werdel  himself  ds  of  no  significance . 

Fry:  Are  you  saying  that  he  served  as  just  a  coalescing  agent? 

Warren:     He  was  just  a  person;  I'm  sure  that  they  could  have  done  something 
far  better  with  a  reputable  conservative,   and  I  don't  think  that  he 
was .     In  fact ,  quite  the  contrary . 

Fry:  Did  you  mean  to  say  that  they  weren't  any  particular  threat  to  Warren 

at  the  time? 

Warren:     Oh,  I  don't  think  they  were. 

Fry:  Did  Bill  Knowland  come  to  his  aid  against  the  Werdel  forces  during 

the  1950  primary,  when  they  were  trying  to  gun  down  your  dad? 

Warren:     Oh,  Bill  Knowland  was —  (laughter)     You  know,  they  may  be  worlds 
apart  right  now  in  philosophy,   and  they  may  have  been  quite  a  bit 
apart  at  other  points,  but  he  was  impeccably  loyal  to  Dad,   all   the 
time.     Just  impeccably.     Even  to  the  point  of  the  Nixon  campaign 
dealings — campaign  train  dealings  in  1952«     At  any  stage  of  the 
proceedings  there,  Knowland  probably  could  have  taken — oh,   just  a 
half  cop-out,   so  to  speak,   and  grabbed  all  the  glory  back  to  him 
self,  with  the  Eisenhower  forces.     But  he  wouldn't  do  it.     And  I 
think  he  knew  it,  too.     I  think  he  knew  that  he  might  be  in  trouble, 
but  he  didn't  do  it.     No,  he  was  a  very  upright  and  loyal  man  in 
that  respect. 

Fry:  I  can't  get  a  picture  of  how  bothersome  this  right-wing  Werdel  group 

was,   at  the  time.     But  if  they  never  really  were   a  threat,  then  it 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Fry:  wouldn't  have  been  necessary,  I  guess,   for  Knowland  to  come  out  on 

Warren's  behalf  against  Werdel.     Is  it  your  impression  that  it 

Warren:     Well,  of  course  Oakland  is  Dad's  home  territory,   and  times  have 
changed.     Now  we  have  news  immediately.     It's  thrown  into  every 
body's  front  room  every  moment  of  the  day  from  any  place.     Anytime 
anything  happens  in  any  town  of  any  significance,  it's  across  the 
country  and  in  everybody  else's  home  almost  immediately.     But  in 
those  days,  that  wasn't  true,   and  there  were   a  lot  of  bellwethers. 
If  you  weren't  strong  in  your  own  territory,  other  people  would 
view  you  as  being  weak.     And  Alameda  County  being  considered  my 
father's  home  territory,  if  he  didn't  have  good  support  from  the 
newspapers  there  at  that  time,  especially  the  strong  one,  Knowland' s 
Tribune ,  people  would  say,    'Veil,  maybe  he's  in  trouble."     So  the 
support  was  important. 

The  Werdel  move  was  kind  of  like  one  branch  of  the  military 
trying  to  out-coup  another  branch  of  the  military  that's  also 
trying  to  effect  a  coup.     It  was  a  striving  for  power  of  a  group 
that  was  on  the  outs,   and  Werdel  was  representing  a  lot  of  vested 
interests  and  some  pretty  bad  interests.     He  was  representing  some 
of  the  more  radical  of  the  elements  of  the  Republican  party  and  he 
was  representing  those  Republicans  who  probably  thought  they  ought 
to  have  a  bigger  say  in  the  administration— felt  they  had  been 
passed  by.     But  Dad  often  said,    "You  can  always  get  a  third  of  the 
vote  against  any  incumbent,  no  matter  how  good  he  is.     You  can 
always  pick  up  a  third  of  the  vote  against  him.     That's  automatic." 
And  that's  exactly  what  it  turned  out  to  be.     They  got  a  third  of 
the  vote.      [Laughter]     I  remember  that  pretty  well,  because  he  was 
never  particularly  worried  about  it — I  think  he  only  considered  it 
bothersome  because  it  meant  an  intraparty  fight. 

Fry:  But  your  dad  had  been  in  office  for  such  a  long  time  at  that  point, 

eight  years,  you'd  expect  him  to  have  developed  quite  a  lot  of 
political  enemies. 

Warren:     Yes.     He  was  beginning  to  be  a  little  concerned  that  maybe  anybody 

who's  around  too  long  will  begin  to  pick  up  some  other  votes  against 
him,  just  on  that  basis  alone. 

Fry:  One  of  the  things  that  kind  of  changed  in  their  support  for  your 

dad,  I  gather,  were  the  oil  interests.     At  first  they  were  glad 
because  he  was  a  Republican,  and  they  kind  of  automatically  came 
to  his  aid  in   'U2,  but  then  later  on,  of  course,  when  the  freeway 
tax  came  on — 

Warren:     They  hadn't  come  to  his  aid  in   ft+2.     This  is  when  he  used  his  own 
finance  people — and  this  is  why  he  made  a  mortal  enemy  of  people 

Earl  Warren,    Jr. 

Warren:     like  Keck.     He  never,  never  had  to  get  beholden,   and  oil,  of 
course,  was  one  of  the  biggest  power  groups.     He  never  had  to 
become  beholden  to  these  people.     If  any  money  was  raised  from  the 
oil  interests,   it  was  raised  independently  so  that  he  had  no  at 
tachment  with  it  whatsoever. 

Fry:  It  may  have  been  just  one  oil  man,  Harold  Morton,  maybe,  who 

supported  him.     At  any  rate,  I  thought  maybe  he  did  have  pretty  good 
general  Republican  support,   simply  as  the  Republican  candidate  in 
19^,   and  that  later  when  he  wanted  to  tax  oil  companies  to  put  in 
new  freeways,   and  so  forth— 

Warren:     Oh,  I  think  all  Republicans  voted  for  him  practically  all  the  time 
in  the  elections.     I  don't  think  there  was  much  of  a  switch-over  of 
Republican  votes.     Who  else  could  they  really  vote  for?     They 
certainly  weren't  going  to  go  for  Olson,  whom  they  considered  almost 
a  Red.     In  19^6,   Bob  Kenny,  who  was  probably  the  finest  man  who  ever 
ran  against  Dad — truly  a  splendid  guy — but  Dad  was  so  strong  Kenny 
couldn't  do  anything  then.     And  then  in  1952  Jimmy  Roosevelt  was 
considered  pretty  far  out  by  Republicans. 

Fry:  So  they  didn't  have  any  other  place  to  go,  really. 

Do  you  have  any  information  on  the  rather  prolonged  fight  that 
he  had  to  get  through  the  program  for  highways  in  California?     It 
started  I  think  around  19^7,   and  continued  through    '^9—   '50. 

Warren:     Well,   except  that  it  took  an  awful  lot  of  homework — a  lot  of  back- 
scene  maneuvering,  and  a  lot  of  right  out  in  the  forefront  fighting, 
too.     It  was  an  educational  process,  basically. 

Fry:  For  your  Dad? 

Warren:  No.  Educating  people  to  think  in  terms  of  a  state — a  big  state  and 
its  needs. 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 


Robert  Kenny 

Fry:  You  mentioned  Kenny.     The  relationship  of  Earl  Warren  and  Kenny 

was  another  big  question  mark — and  if  any  of  Kenny's  liberalism 
might  have  helped  educate  your  dad  further  as  he  was  progressing 
in  that  direction. 

Warren:     Well,   it  didn't  hurt.     Of  course  I  don't  think  their  philosophies 
ever  differed  in  any  major  respect  that  I  know  of.     I  think  they 
both  thought  the  other  guy  was  great. 

Fry:  How  did  your  dad  feel  when  Kenny  ran  as  a  Democrat  for  governor 

against  your  dad  in  the  primary  in   '46? 

Warren:     I'm  sure  he  was  delighted  to  be  opposed  by  such  an  honorable  man! 
[Laughter ] 

And  I  think  he  was  probably  equally  delighted  to  have  somebody 
as  genteel  as  Bob  Kenny  was.     He's  a  sweet  fellow.     What  was  that 
great  statement  he  made  after  he  was  beaten? 

They  said,    "How  come  you  lost,"  and  he  said,    "He  got  more 
votes  than  I  did!" 

Fry:  Oh,  yes!      [Laughter] 

Warren:     And  there  was  something  about  a  lame  duck — a  statement  he  made  about 
a  lame  duck,   and  of  course  he  has  a  bad  arm.     It  was  kind  of  a  double 
joke  on  himself — I  forget  what  it  was.     But  he's  just  a  real  fine 

Fry:  Those  Kenny-isms  are   so  priceless.  I  wish  I  could  remember  them. 

Every  time  I  talk  to  him  without  the  tape  recorder  and  they  come 
pouring  out,  I  sit  there  and  gnash  my  teeth! 

Warren:     Yes.      [Laughter] 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 


Fry:  Janet  Stevenson,   in  Oregon,  who1 s  writing  his  biography,  wrote  me 

and  said,  "Do  you  have  any  of  these  on  tape?"  [Laughter]  He  went 
to  Nuremburg  during  the  primary  campaign — he  just  sort  of  left  the 
country  for  awhile.  Much  to  the  distress  of  the  Democrats. 

Warren:     I  don't  think  he  really  wanted  to  run.     I  know  he  didn't  think  he 
could  win,   and  yet  he  just  felt  that  he  had  to  try.     I  mean  it  was 
forced  on  him.     He  was  the  only  possible  guy  in  the  picture.     He 
was  the  only  candidate  of  any  real  stature  at  that  time. 

Fry:  And  someone  said  that  there  was  a  very  strong  pressure  for  the 

Democrats  to  put  up  somebody  worthy  at  that  time  against  Governor 
Warren . 

Warren:     Oh,  they  just  had  to,   in  order  to  keep  the  party  alive,  and  to 

support  the  other  candidates  that  were  running.     You've  got  to  have 
at  least  a  semblance  of  a  strong  ticket  on  top  or  you  get  nothing 
down  below.     And  this,  of  course,  was  more  true  then  than  it  is  now. 
Much  truer.     So  that's  why  he  ran. 

Fry:  Well,  how  close  were  he  and  Kenny?    Was  Kenny  over  at  the  house 

much,   or  was  it  primarily  a  good  working  relationship? 

Warren:     Just  a  good  working  relationship.     Very  good.     Kenny  was  a  splendid 
attorney  general. 

Fry:  He   seemed  to  have  continued  the  organization  that  your  father  had 

set  up. 

Warren:     Yes,  he  did.     And  he  built  upon  it. 

Fred  F.  Houser 

Fry:  Do  you  know  anything  about  the  Lieutenant  Governor  in  your  father's 

first  term,  Fred  F.  Houser,   and  the  relationship  there? 

Warren:     Yes.     It  was  cordial,  but  strained. 

Fry:  Why  was  it  strained?     Was  that  because  of  the  difference  in  person 

alities  of  the  two  men? 

Warren:     Perhaps  partly,  but  I  don't  think  Dad  felt  Houser  was  carrying  any 
wheres  near  his  share  of  the  obligations. 

Fry:  Was  there  any  problem  with  Houser 's  official  actions  when  Warren 

went  out  of  the  state? 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Warren:     No,  not  that  I  know  of.     I  don't  know  if  Houser  entertained  any 

thoughts  of  going  higher,  or  not.     I  don't  recall  any  talk  of  that, 
at  all.     In  fact,  these  were  the  days  when  everything  was  moving 
so  terribly  fast — new  programs  and  new  people,  and  so  forth.     I 
just  sensed  that  that  was  the  main  feeling — that  he  wasn't  part  of 
the  team,  let's  put  it  that  way. 

Well,  my  impression  is  that  he  was  kind  of  a  cold  and  stand-offish 


Warren:     I  think  he  was. 

Harry  Truman 

Fry:  Another  name  I  have  down  here  to  ask  you  about  is  Truman.     In 

19^8,  I  think,  Truman  came  out  to  California  for  what  today  would 
be  called  a  non-political  appearance.      [Laughter] 

Warren:     Right. 

Fry:  It  wasn't  called  that  then,  but  anyway  he  came  out  and  your  dad 

apparently  was  advised  not  to  see  him,   in  the  middle  of  the 
campaign . 

Warren:     He  was  told  not  to  I      [Laughter] 
Fry:  Oh,  by  whom?      [Laughter] 

Warren:     Oh,  by  the  party  regulars.     I  remember  him  saying,   "They're  not 

going  to  like  this,  but  I'm  going — I'm  governor  of  this  state,   and 
he's  coming  in  as  our  guest,   and  the  host  is  going  to  be  there!" 

Fry:  And  so  he  met  him. 

Warren:     Of  course,  Truman  was  delighted,   and  said  some  very  nice  things 

then,   and  he  went  down  to  the  Bay  Area  or  to  Los  Angeles  and  said 
some  other  nice  things.     It  didn't  hurt  Dad  a  bit!    [Laughter] 

Fry:  Sure.     It  probably  didn't  hurt  Truman  either! 

Warren:     No,  it  didn't  hurt  Truman  either!    [Laughter]     They  jointly  picked 
up  some  votes. 

Fry:  Were   they  corresponding  pals--pen  pals   between  California  and 


Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Warren:  Not  really,  I  think,  until  Truman  was  out  of  the  presidency,  and 
then  of  course  they  became  much  closer.  They  eventually  came 
together  on  certain  projects. 

Fry:     Oh,  did  they? 

Warren:     Things  like  the  Truman  library,   and  Truman  selected  him  to  do  cer 
tain  things. 

Fry:  Oh,  he  did?    What  did  he    ask  your  dad  to  do? 

Warren:     Well,  to  head  various — 

Fry:  Was  he  raising  funds  out  here  for  the  Truman  library?     No,  he 

couldn't  do  that. 

Warren:     I'm  rusty  exactly  as  to  what  Dad  did.     He  did  so  much  during  that 
time.     But  they're  very  close  friends. 

Tom  Kuchel 

Fry:     We're  about  to  interview  Tom  Kuchel,  and  the  impression  I  get  there 

is  that  this  was  another  good  working  team,  with  Kuchel  as  controller, 
then  as  U.S.  Senator. 

Warren:  Yes.  He  was  part  of  the  team. 

Fry:     Were  they  also  friends,  outside  of  the  office,  or  was  this  primarily 
a  working  relationship? 

Warren:  I  would  really  classify  it  mostly  as  a  professional  relationship. 

They  had  some  mutual  friends,  but  Tom's  close  personal  friends  were 
not  necessarily  the  same  as  Dad's  close  personal  friends.  I  think 
that's  true  of  practically  all  the  political  associations  he's  had. 

Fry:     Later  on  in  Washington,  when  your  father  was  Chief  Justice,  they 
were  very  close  in  social,  family-type  things?  Is  that  true? 

Warren:  No  closer,  I  think,  than  they  were  before. 
Fry:     Some  lobbyist  told  me  that. 

Warren:  Well,  of  course  they  saw  each  other  very  frequently,  because  Dad, 
as  the  Chief  Justice,  had  to  fulfill  all  the  protocol  requirements 
of  the  court.  He  had  to  go  to  all  the  embassy  dinners  and  all  the 
White  House  functions,  and  Kuchel  would  be  present  at  a  lot  of 
those,  so  they  saw  each  other  very  frequently. 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Fry:  Yes.     But  he  appointed  Kuchel  over  three  or  four  other  very  able 

men  for  senator.     Do  you  have   any  idea  why  he  chose  Kuchel  at 
that  time? 

Warren:     You  mean  as  contrasted  with  the  others?     No,  I  don't.     In  fact, 
I'm  not  exactly  sure  all  of  whom  were  under  consideration. 

Fry:  Yes,  I'm  not  either.     And  I  didn't  really  mean  to  make  it  a 

comparative  comment.     I  just  wondered  what  he  felt  about  Kuchel. 

Warren:     He  felt  he  had  a  lot  of  potential,   and  felt  he  had  proved  himself 
well  in  the  controller's  office. 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 


Fry:  I'd  like  to  ask  you  some  about  the  people  -who  worked  in  Warren's 

office,  but  we  can  hold  that,   if  you  want  to,   and  start  there  next 

Warren:     It's  okay  with  me,  whatever  your  schedule  is. 

Fry:  My  schedule  is  open-ended  tonight.     All  I  have  to  do  is  get  back 

to  Berkeley. 

Warren:     Oh,   sure!     Well  why  don't  you  go  ahead,  then. 

Fry:  All  right.     I'll  just  keep  going.     You  don't  look  pale  or  like 

you're  about  to  faint,  yet.      [Laughter] 

Warren:     Oh,  no. 

Fry:  Would  you  like  to  tell  anything  about  Mr.  William  Sweigert,  who  is 

now  Judge  Sweigert,  who  was  apparently  with  your  dad  right  from  the 
beginning  of  his  taking  office  as  governor. 

Warren:     They're  close  friends.     I  think  that  you're  going  to  get  more  valid 
information  about  relationships  between  people  like  Jim  Oakley  and 
Dad,   and  Pop  Small  and  Bill  Sweigert  and  those  people  from  the  old- 
timers  like  them.     In  other  words  ask  Pop  about  Bill  and  Bill  about 
Pop  and  Jim  about  both  of  them,  this  type  of  thing,  because  there 
was  a  certain  rapport  there  that  I'm  not  sure  an  outsider  can  ade 
quately  put  his  finger  on. 

Fry:  Here  are  some  names  that  I  jotted  down,   thinking  that  one  of  them 

might  trigger  a  comment. 

Warren:     Well,   of  course  the  ultimate  authority  was  always  Helen  MacGregor. 
Fry:  Oh,  was  she? 

Warren:     She  was  the  A-No.  1  Tro uble shooter ,  and  if  anything  really     had  to 

get  done,   she  was  sort  of  the  second-in-command.     She  never  exercised 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 







command,  but  she  was  always  able  to  steer  the  problems  to  the 
proper  place  for  solution.  All  these  people  that  you  have  listed 
here  that  I  know — Sweigert,  Wollenberg,  Small,  Oakley,  Scoggins — 
these  people  all  had  their  own  areas  of  operation.  I  never  heard 
any  of  them  arguing  about  anything.  It  was  always,  "We've  got  a 
problem,"  "Okay,  I'll  take  care  of  it,"  boom — gone.  No  bickering — 
"Why  don't  you  do  it?"  or  "How  about  shooting  it  off  to  Bill?  I'm 
busy  now, "  or  something  like  that .  Never  any  of  that .  It  was 
always  a  tight  ship.  Very  tight.  And  yet  it  was  always  tight  from 
the  standpoint  of  people  wanting  to  do  it.  It  really  looked  like 
the  essence  of  volunteerism,  so  to  speak.   [Laughter]   Dedicated 

Yes.  Each  person  we've  interviewed  so  far  on  his  office  comments 
at  length  on  the  esprit  de  corps  and  the  lack  of  back-biting.  At 
first  I  thought,  "Well  okay,  go  ahead  and  get  all  this  said,"  but 
I  remained  skeptical 0  I  don't  see  how  you  can  have  an  office  for 
that  many  years  without  some  friction  developing,  some  relationships 
wearing  thin.  But  now  I'm  beginning  to  think  that  maybe  they  did, 
because  there's  nothing  that  I've  picked  up  anywhere. 

Yes.  Well  it  is  true.  Dad  wouldn't  tolerate  this.  If  he  heard 
that  there  was  something  going  on,  right  away  he'd  go  into  it.  And 
if  he  found  that  it  was  something  that  could  not  be  readily  solved, 
he'd  ask  one  or  both  or  everybody  to  go.  He'd  say,  "l  can't  operate 
under  these  conditions." 

But  nobody  left  under  a  cloud — I  mean  of  these  top  secretaries? 

None  of  these.  No,  he  was  very  careful  about  these  people.  They 
worked  out  exceptionally  well. 

So  whatever  happened  must  have  been  on  the  second  or  third  or  fourth 
echelons . 

Right,  or  in  departments, 
people . 

But  he  kept  close  tabs,  and  so  did  these 


Oh,  yes.  The  departments  had  their  problems. 

Yes.  And  these  people  in  his  office  knew  what  was  going  on  in  the 
departments.  A  far  different  cry  from  what  happens  now.  They 
really  knew  whether  a  department  was  going  well,  poorly,  or  not  at 
all.  There  were  no  questions.  A  man  was  told  what  he  would  have 
to  do  to  rectify  a  situation,  and  if  he  could  not  reform  or  would 
not  reform,  that  was  it!  And  they  didn't  mean  just  halfway — They 
demanded  excellence  in  the  office,  and  they  got  it. 

He  really  did  have  an  incredible  number  of  department  heads  that 
are  still  looked  upon  as  men  who  were  real  leaders  in  their  fields, 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Warren : 










What  can  you  tell  us  about  the  way  he  made  appointments? 
did  he  manage  to  bring  this  off? 


He  had  various  advisers,   and  you  never  knew  who  they  were.     In  a 
particular  area  of  expertise  he  knew  people  that  he  could  trust  for 
good  advice .     Then  he  would  scout  around  and  decide  on  who  he 
wanted.     This  would  generally — practically  always — be  completely 
unknown  to  the  person  who  was  involved.     Dad  would  find  out  who  he 
wanted  and  call  that  person  in  and  say,    "l  want  you  to  do  something 
for  me .     I  want  you  to  take  this  job . "     And  he  got  some  people  to 
take  jobs  with  this  approach  that  he  could  never  have  gotten  by 
conventional  methods.     He'd  say,   "I've  checked  it  all  out,   and 
you're  the  man  I  want."     And  they  would  say,   "l  don't  even  know 
you."     And  he'd  say,    "Yes,  but  I  know  you!"      [Laughter] 

Or,    "l  didn't  work  for  you  in  the  campaign." 

He'd  say,    "Yes.     I  know.     But  you're  the  best  man.     They  told  me 
you're  the  best  man  in  the  field,  and  I  want  you."     A  prime  example 
is  the  man  he  pulled  in  to  take  over  the  public  health  department, 
Dr.  Wilton  Halverson. 

That  is,  yes. 

It's  almost  a  classic  illustration  of  his  method  of  choosing  a 
department  head. 

We're  interviewing  him  now. 

He  did  this  with  a  tremendous  number  of  organizations.     And  Dick 
McGee.     He  came  in,   and  Dad  basically  said,    "Look,  we've  got  to 
look  this  over.     We  have  a  bad  prison  system.     We've  got  a  bad 
parole   system.     We've  got  a  bad  penal  system.     I  want  you  to  do 
something  about  it."     McGee  said,   "What  can  I  do?"     And,  as  I  under 
stand  it,  Dad  said,   "You  do  anything  that's  right  and  honorable." 

Now  in  that  case  I  thought  maybe  your  dad  would  have  had  some 
specific  ideas — 

Oh,  he  had  plenty  of  ideas-- 

— that  he  gave  to  McGee,   do  you  know? 

Yes,  but  you  can  bet  that  by  the  time  he  checked  the  man  out,  he 
knew  darn  well  that  that  was  the  man's  own  philosophy. 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Warren:  He  then  worked  very  closely  with  these  people.  Yes,  there  was 

none  of  this  business  of  not  seeing  the  top  guy.  You  could  always 
see  him! 

Fry:     Like  with  you  kids,  he  always  had  time? 

Warren:  Right.  He  did,  and  that's  why  he  got  this  performance. 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 


Use  of  Expertise 

Fry:     Another  thing  that  is  interesting  to  me  now,  since  the  practice  has 
currently  fallen  by  the  wayside ,  is  his  use  of  the  University  as  a 
kind  of  fact-finding  medium  for  him  when  he  needed  to  know  some 
thing,  such  as  appointing  professors  on  commissions.  He  set  up  the 
Institute  of  Industrial  Relations  at  the  University,  as  something 
that  not  so  much  would  serve  the  University  but  could  serve  the 
general  public  in  this  area  of  labor  relations. 

Warren:  Yes.  Of  course  he  did  that  for  two  reasons.  One,  he  wanted  the 
benefit  of  the  brains  of  those  people  who  were  deeply  schooled  in 
certain  areas,  and  also,  I  think,  he  wanted  to  be  sure  that  the 
professors  themselves  would  remain  politically  aware— not  just  stay 
in  narrow  fields,  but  understand  the  application  of  what  they  knew. 
He  had  a  deep  belief  in  the  University — a  terribly  profound  and 
dedicated  belief  in  the  Tightness  of  all  higher  education,  but 
particularly  in  the  University  of  California — the  public  school 
system — that  he  wanted  to  see  it  prosper  as  rapidly  as  possible. 
And  I'm  sure  that  he  intended  for  the  University  always  to  be  'way 
ahead  of  the  rest  of  society. 

Fry:     And  he  saw  that  there  was  nothing  wrong  with  it  if  it  were. 

Warren:  No,  that's  right.   [Laughter]  He  deliberately  wanted  them  to  be  in 
the  forefront.  I  don't  know  that  it  was  an  innovation,  but  he  cer 
tainly  made  much  heavier  use  of  those  people  than  had  been  made 
before . 

The  Loyalty  Oath 

Fry:     What  do  you  know  about  the  loyalty  oath  fight?  Were  you  in  the 
University  at  Davis  then? 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 



I  remember  a  lot  about  the  loyalty  oath  fight, 
tug -o -war . 

That  was  a  great 




And  this  was  the  time  when  your  dad  really  did  go  to  bat  for  the 
University,   as  a  member  of  the  Board  of  Regents.     I  don't  think  he'd 
ever  met  with  the  Regents  until  this  came  up,   for  some  reason.  But 
when  this  came  up  he  was  at  every  meeting  and  he  was  the  one  who 
carried  the  ball. 

Well,  I  think  it  was  a  close  issue,   initially.     I  really  do.     A 
close  issue  for  him.     You  know  we  had  competing  forces  going. 
First  we  had  this  tremendous  wartime  spirit,   so  to  speak.     Anyone 
who  suggested  that  we  might  not  be  the  greatest  nation  was — 

Just  disloyal? 

Yes.     Anybody  who  wouldn't  willingly  stand  up  and  swear  allegiance 
to  anything — God,  mother  and  country— was  not  worth  having,   and  so 
forget  about  them.     And  then,   of  course,  we  had  the  McCarthyism 
thing  going,  too,  nationally.     When  Dad  was  District  Attorney  of 
Alameda  County  the  staff  there  was  keeping  very  close  watch  on 
Communist  activity,   very  closet    [Laughter]     How  close  will  not  be 
known  until  he  decides  to  write  on  it.     But  it  was  true,   and  they 
were  watching  those  labor  unions  that  were  largely  controlled  by  the 
ultra-Left,   and  even  known  Communists,   and  they  were  watching  other 
known  Communists,   and  then  came  the  suggestions  of  Japanese  subver 
sion.     Then  these  various  recurring  things  happened — they  saw  the 
rise  of  Nazism  in  this  country,  where  they  had  to  keep  tabs  on  people 
suspect  of  being  Fascist  and  Nazis,  and  so  forth.     So  by  the  time  he 
came  to  the  loyalty  oath  question,  I  feel  that  for  him  it  was  a  tug- 
o-war  between  these  other  feelings,  plus,  of  course,  party  pressure 
which  was  there,  and  his  own  experience,  which  I  think  now  had  built 
up  to  a  point  where  he  was  able  to  say,    "Look,  we've  had  Communists 
all   the  time,   and  we've  had  a  percentage  of  Fascists  and  Nazis,   and 
we've  had  Japanese  who  have  been  sympathetic  to  Japan  as  well  as  to 
the  United  States,  or  at  least  were  divided  in  their  loyalties,   and 
you  know,  we  haven't  really  been  harmed  by  it.     As  a  matter  of  fact, 
maybe  all  these  things  being  put  into  the  pot  have  made  better 
people  out  of  us."     I  think  he  realized  a  lot  of  mistakes  had  been 
made,  putting  labels  on  people  automatically,  and  I  think  that  he 
decided  that  this  just  wasn't  the  American  way  to  proceed. 

Max  Radin's  Appointment 

Fry:  Yes.     I  just  thought  of  another  thing  in  this  connection,  that  Max 

Radin  affair  a  decade  earlier.     Wasn't  that  relevant?    He  voted 
against  the  law  professor  Max  Radin  for  the  State  Supreme  Court  be 
cause  Max  Radin  was  pink? 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Fry:     Is  that  true? 

Warren:     No,  not  for  that  reason  only.     That's  a  deeper  issue,   and  personal 
to  him.     He  did  exercise  a  sort  of  a  veto  as  Attorney  General  in 
the  appointment  of  Supreme  Court  Justices,   as  a  member  of  the 
Judicial  Qualifications  Commission.     That  was  a  very  old  and  sort 
of  a  bitter  thing.     And  there  are  seeds  of  that  still — it's  puzzling 
to  a  great  many  people  as  to  why  he  did  it.     It  didn't  seem  to  fit 
in  with  the  rest  of  what  he's  done.     And  I'm  not  clear  on  it  myself, 
frankly.     I'm  just  not.     I  don't  know  all  the  factors  that  were 
involved — whether  he  simply  didn't  feel  that  Max  Radin  was  suited 
for  this  position,  or  what. 

Fry:  But  you  think  that  there  might  have  been  something  more  than  just 

the  simple  ultra-liberal,  or  pro-Communist  issue? 

Warren:     I'm  not  sure  that  Dad  considered  him  that  liberal. 
Fry:  Oh. 

Warren:     This  is  why  I  say  I  just  don't  know  the  whole  story  on  that.     I've 
had  a  lot  of  people  ask  me  about  it,   including  members  of  Max's 

Fry:  Really? 

Warren:  Discreetly,  nicely,  graciously,  but — they  ask. 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 



Fry:  I  think  I'll  stop.     Is  there  anything  else  that  you  can  think  of 

that  you'd  like  to  add? 

Warren:     Let's  see.     I'll  just  say  a  few  things  about  the  Douglas-Nixon 
senatorial  race  in  1950. 

Fry:  Someone  inferred  that  maybe  Warren  really  wasn't  for  Nixon,   and  he 

might  have  even  been  pro-Douglas  in  that—   [Laughter] 

Warren:     No.     That's  not  true.     He  definitely  was  not  pro-Douglas,   and  I'm 
sure  that  his  personal  support  in  the  race  was  initially  for  Nixon. 
In  fact  I  know  that .     But  he  declared  that  in  this  race  that  he  was 
going  to  run  an  individual  campaign- 
Fry:  Who? 

Warren:     Dad  did.     And  this  was  for  several  reasons,  and  perhaps  for  more 

complex  reasons  than  I'll  state  here,  but  he  felt  that  being  a  third- 
termer  he  shouldn't  hang  this  label  on  the  secondary  candidates — 
that  he  shouldn't  force  them  to  throw  their  lot  in  with  him,  but  that 
they  should  be  free  to  make  their  own  stars  shine ,  and  in  case  he 
ran  into  trouble  they  wouldn't  go  down  the  tubes. 

And  secondly  I  think  he  felt  that,  not  knowing  what  the  problems 
were  in  going  for  a  third  term,  he  ought  to  be  freer  to  swing  with 
whatever  came  up  than  before.     We  had  experienced  by  this  time  a 
tremendous  influx  of  people  into  the  state  who  hadn't  had  much  chance 
to  know  Earl  Warren.     And  of  course  the  problem  of  new  people  coming 
into  the  various  races  at  this  time  created  potential  fiscal  problems 
too,   as  far  as  financing  the  campaigns  were  concerned.     So  his  people 
decided  that  they  would  run  an  independent  campaign,   and  when  they 
said  independent — (laughter)   it  would  be  across  the  board,    so  that 
nobody  could  say,   "Well,  you  gave  a  speech  for  Congressman  So-and-So, 
but  you  won't  give  one  for  me."     That  type  of  thing.     So  he  decided, 
"When  I  run  an  independent  campaign,  I  will  run  an  independent 
campaign."     Of  course,  he  would  praise  somebody  if  he  was  in  their 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Warren:  district  and  generally  support  the  ticket,  but  he  was  not  going  to 
run  any  coordinated  campaign,  as  they  had  before. 

Well,  the  Nixon  people  came  to  him  and  demanded  that  they  throw 
in  together,  and  he  said,  "l  can't  do  it."  And  they  repeated  the 
demand,  'You  must  do  it!"  and  he  said,  "I'm  sorry,  I  won't."  This 
was  the  first  start  of  a  schism  between  the  two. 

No— I  can  tell  you  he  definitely  was  not  a  supporter  of  Helen 
Gahagan  Douglas,  at  that  time.  But  I  think  he  subsequently  became 
very  disenchanted  by  the  way  Nixon  conducted  himself  in  that 
campaign . 

Fry:  Are  you  talking  about  the  shadowy  phone  calls — 

Warren:  And  all  that  type  of  business,  yes. 

Fry:  — accusing  her  of  being  a  Communist? 

Warren:  Yes.  That  and  the  other  dealings  that  were  involved  there. 

Fry:     Murray  Chotiner  told  Katcher,  for  his  book,  that  they  planted  the 

head  of  the  Young  Republicans  in  the  audience  at  all  of  Mrs.  Douglas1 
meetings,  to  ask  who  she  would  support  for  governor.  They  figured 
that  if  she  came  out  for  Roosevelt,  that  would  force  Warren  to  come 
out  for  Nixon. 

Warren:  Yes. 

Fry:  Did  you  hear  anything  about  this  at  the  time? 

Warren:  Oh,  yes,  there  was  a  lot  of — That  who  was  trying  to  force  her? 

Fry:  Well,   it  was  Chotiner,  Nixon's  chief  aide. 

Warren:  I've  never  heard  that. 

Fry:  [Laughter]     This  is  what  was  going  on  in  the  Douglas  camp  in  the 


Warren:     Yes.     Well,  I  know  there  was  a  lot  of  pressure  on  Dad  to  combine 

with  Nixon.     The  Nixon  people  were  very  arrogant  in  that  campaign. 
They  came  and  said,    "This  is  what  we're  going  to  do."     And  Dad  said, 
"You  can't.     I've  got  my  independent  campaign."     But  they  demanded 
that  they  go  as  a  team.     And  he  said,    "No.     It's  not  fair  to  the 

Fry:  What   about  Roosevelt?     What  did  your  dad  think  about  him?     James,   I 

mean,   and  the  kind  of  campaign  he  waged. 

Earl  Warren,   Jr. 

Warren:     Well,  the  thing  that's  usually  cited  is  the  one  of  two  times,   I 
think,  Dad  is  said  to  have  really  cut  loose  in  public.     I  forget 
what  the  first  one  was,   but  the  other  one  was  at  something  Jimmy 
said  relating  to  somebody  in  the  family.     I  think  it  was  Honey- 
bear's  polio,   and  Dad  blew  and  really  chopped  into  him.     I  think 
it's  in  John  Weaver's  book. 

There  was  no  affection  between  the  two .     They  hardly  knew  each 
other.     I  don't  think  there  was  any  great  animosity  either.  But 
afterwards,  they  became  quite  cordial. 

Fry:  That  was  the  time  when  your  family  were  having  all  these  things 

happen  to  them.     Honeybear  got  polio.     And  didn't  another  sister 
get  in  a  car  wreck? 

Warren:     Oh,  I  don't  know  why  they  play  that  accident  up.     That  was  nothing. 
Fry:  It  didn't  really  throw  everybody  into  a  tizzy? 

Warren:     Well,   in  retrospect,  Honeybear 's  illness  was  more  distressing  to  my 
folks  than  I  realized  at  the  time.     Apparently  it  did  bother  Dad  a 
great  deal. 

Fry:  It  was  such  a  dreadful — 

Warren:     But  the  car  wreck — there's  nothing  in  that  car  wreck.     I  hardly 
remember  what  it  was.     I  think  Dottie  got  some  little  bump  or 
something- -it  was  nothing . 

Fry:  I  think  Pop  Small  was  telling  me  she  just  broke  a  rib  or  something 

like  that;   it  wasn't  a  head  injury  or  anything. 

Warren:     Oh,   it  was  nothing  I     Gee  whiz,  I  used  to  skin  my  knee  worse  than 
that  every  week!      [Laughter]     I  don't  think  Dottie  even  remembers 
it.     Some  of  these  little  things  are  blown  out  of  proportion  quite 
frequently . 

You  didn't  get  a  chance  to  talk  to  Johnny  Mullins  before  he 
died,  did  you? 

Fry:  Yes,  I  did,   and  got  his  story  about  how  he  switched  his  vote  on  the 

Alameda  County  Board  of  Supervisors,  to  make  Warren  District  Attorney, 

Warren:     Oh,   did  you?     Good. 

Fry:  I  went  out  about  196^,  I  think,  and  recorded  him,   after  I'd  talked 

to  another  old  guy  who'd  been  in  the  Kelly  machine  for  a  long,  long 
time.     I'm  so  glad  that  I  did. 

Warren:     Yes.     A  nice  old  guy. 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Fry:     That's  the  only  interview  we  had  on  the  whole  project  for  five 
years;  we  couldn't  get  any  money  to  support  the  project,  so  I'm 
awfully  glad  we  chose  that  one.  I'm  sorry  that  we  missed  Jesse 
Steinhart;  he  died  before  we  got  started  again. 

Warren:  Yes.  I  don't  know  if  many  people  could  fill  that  in.  I  don't 
think  so. 

Fry:     Do  you  think  Joe  Feigenbaum  might? 

Warren:  I  know  so  little  about  him  that  I'm  not  sure  how  he  even  comes 
into  the  picture. 

Fry:     How  close  is  Ben  Swig? 

Warren:  Ben's  close,  but  I  don't  think  from  the  standpoint  of  knowing  that 
segment  of  political  history.  I  get  the  impression — 

Fry:     He  came  late,  didn't  he? 

Warren:  Yes,  Ben  really  wasn't  in  the  political  picture  that  heavy  then. 
He  became  a  heavy  much  later.  He  really  got  rolling  in  the  50s. 
Incidentally,  there's  a  fascinating  little  book  about  him — his 
life — that  his  family  printed  for  him  for  his  birthday. 

Fry:     Oh,  there  is? 

Warren:  Yes.  You  must  read  it.  A  delightful  thing.  You  know  he  went 

bankrupt  and  worked  his  way  back  up  selling  flowers.  It's  really 

I've  heard  Harold  Morton's  name,  but  never  in  the  context  of 
anything  very  personal.  And  the  same  is  true  of  Feigenbaum.  He 
may  know  something  about  certain  types  of  things,  but  I*m  sure  he 
wasn't  a  close  confidant.  Now  Walter  Jones  knows  a  lot. 

Fry:     Yes.  John  Weaver  and  I  were  trying  to  figure  out  who  would  be  the 
highest  priority  people  to  interview,  and  Walter  Jones  was  No.  1, 
with  Warren  Olney. 

Warren:  Yes.  He's  a  pretty  conservative  guy  now,  and  he's  a  very  nice  man. 
A  very  nice  man.  And  like  Knowland — very  loyal.  He  always  did  his 
job  three  times  better  than  anybody  expected.  That  kind  of  guy. 

Fry:     I  rely  a  lot  on  Helen  MacGregor  for  advice. 

Warren:  Helen  knows  more  than  anybody.  She  is  the  number  one  resource. 

Fry:     Yes,  and  she's  very  cautious.  When  we  tape-record,  we  tape-record 
on  just  one  rather  carefully  researched  topic.  And  then  we  may  not 

Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Fry:  do  anything  more  for  a  couple  of  months,   and  then  we'll  get  to 

gether  again.     She's  very  helpful. 

I  understand  your  dad  is  writing  his  autobiography. 

Warren:     Dad's  doing  writing,  but  he's  not  doing — I'm  sure --any  kind  of 

autobiography.     It  isn't  his  style.     He  will  write  on  various  areas, 
but  he's  not  going  to  write  about  himself  much,  because  he  thinks 
that  that's  best  left  to  other  people.     But  he  will  continue  to 
express  ideas  just  like  he's  doing  now,   and  he'll  write  on  other 
subjects,  for  instance  I  think  he's  been  asked  to  do  something  on 
basic  principles  of  Americanism  for  grammar  school  children.     Things 
like  that . 

Fry:  I  heard  he's  doing  something  on  his  role  as  the  executive  in  state 

government  or  something  like  that? 

Warren:     I  don't  know  about  that.     That  will  depend,  I  suppose — 

Fry:  It's  getting  late.     Thank  you  for  making  time  in  your  busy  schedule 

to  interview. 

Warren:     I'm  glad  to  do  it. 

Transcriber:      Helen  Kratins 
Final  Typist:      Beverly  Heinrichs 

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APPENDIX  -  Interview  with  Earl  Warren,  Jr.,  on  his  father's  career,  retirement, 
and  family  life.   Sacramento,  1969.   Interviewer  unknown,  possibly  for  .   <.. 

NET  program  on  Chief  Justice  Warren. 




}" WARRSJI,   IT, 

tfy  father  basically  is  retiring  as  he  said  for  reasons 
of  age.   His  health  is  wonderful,  both  physically  and 
nentally  but  he  feels  I  think  as  a  matter  of  principle 
that  men  should  not  stay  in  public  positions  too  long, 
at  least  past  a  point  when  there  niig^t  be  some  question 
as  to  whether  or  not  they 'res  operating  at  maximum 
efficiency  and  even  though  he  has  ir.any  years  left ,  I 
think  he  felt  at  the  age  of  78 »  he  shouldn't  remain  on 
any  longer.   I  an  also  quite  sure  that  he  feels  tftat 
this  is  basically  the  end  of  an  era,  the  major  decisions 
for  tho  court  probably  now  have  been  before  the  court 
and  have  been  Piade.  Things  like  reapportionraent,  de 
segregation,  cases  of  that  sort,  and  fron  now  on  I  think 
it's  goins  to  take  uen  on  the  court  to  interpret  within 
those  decisions.  In  other  words,  the  umbrellas  have 
been  set  up  and  there  is  going  to  have  to  be  interpretation 
within  the  scope  of  those  umbrellas,  they're  going  to 
have  to  decide  how  prescribed  they  will  be  or  hew  broad 
they'll  be,  and  I  think  he  feels  very  strongly  that 
younger  r.en  ought  to  make  those  decisions.  The  day  by 
day,  step  by  step  decisions  under  the  broad  framework 
that  has  been  established. 

I'd  like  to  reflect  a  little  bit  about  the  days  perhaps 



when  your  father  was  attorney  general  and  later  governor. 
We've  heard  a  sreat  deal  about  the  Warren  family ,  his 
notion  of  privacy  for  the  family,  and  wefve  also  heard 
a  story  that  maybe  you  can  tell  us,  verify  about  Earl 
Warren's  phone  nunsber  being  in  the  phone  book  when  he 
was  governor  in  Sacramento.   Can  you  reflect  on  what 
those  days  were  like?  Being  a  Warren  child  in  those  years? 


Yes.   It  was  rather  interesting  here  in  Sacramento 
particularly.  We  led  a  very  public  life,  and  it,  we  never 
actually  hid  anything  whatsoever*  It  was  a  very  open  house, 
you  know  an  old  Victorian  place  that  many  said  was 
crumbling,  and  some  even  said  it  had  crumbled  years  before, 
but  it  was  interesting,  from  the  standpoint  of  it  was 
new  to  us  too.   The  family  had  always  been  a  bi£  family, 
a  rattier  typical  family  I  think  in  most  respects,  even 
though  my  father  was  in  a  position  of  prominence,  but  of 
course  coming  up  here  and  being  known  as  the  governor's 
family  did  create  sor,e  special  problems,  but  we  pretty 
much  continued  just  aa  a  big  ordinary  family  oven  though 
we  were  forced  to  live  in  somewhat  strange  circumstances 
and  I  we  enjoyed  it,  frankly  we  did.   Sacramento's  a 
wonderful  place,  vie  really  oade  it  our  home,  and  I  think 
practically  everybody  in  the  family  considers  this  as 
their  home. 

What  were  the  problems  of  living,  for  you  personally  at 



the  age  you  were  living  In  , . .  twelve  years  in  the 
governor's  mansion  here? 

AN3 . 

Oh,  you  feel  you  have  too  many  eyes  on  you.  I  aa  sure 
this  is  true  of  anybody  who  lives  in  a  position  of 
prominence,  and  I  think  that  perhaps  of  course  maybe 
particularly  i*ith  boys,  they  dislike  being  known  for 
anything  but  themselves.  Maybe  the  male  ego  is  a 
peculiar  enough  animal  that  it  demands  that  and  you'd 
like  to  be,  like  to  think  that  you're  bein?,  known  for 
yourself  rather  than  for  your  family's  prominence. 
The  gals  seem  to  survive  this  a  little  bit  better,  and 
this  way  explain  why  my  sisters  have  always  been  more 
in  the  limelight  than  the  boys.  We  ducked  out  with 
various  excuses  as  often  as  possible,  and  the  girls  then 
became  quite  well  known  and  the  boys  generally  we 
were  pretty  obscure  if  not  completely  non-existent 
in  the  public  eye,  and  that  was  Just  fine  with  us. 


What  were  the  various  political  campaigns  like  for  you? 
Did  you  take  part  —  wfcx  was  there  nuch  family  campaigning 
in  those  years? 


The  girls  were  good  sports.  They  went  along,  but  as  I 
say  the  boys  pretty  much  stayed  away  frora  thera.  Of 
course  we  had  tremendous  exposure,  we  couldn't  avoid 
that  and  we  learned  a  great  deal  but  as  far  as  actually 



taking  part  that  was  pretty  much  the  role  of  rcy  sisters. 


Could  you  begin  by  telling  me  how  old  you  were  and  how 
you  learned  that  your  father  learned  that  he  was  going 
to  bo  Chief  Justice  of  the  United  States,  the  circumstances 
of  your  learning  that? 


Well  I'KI  really  not  at  liberty  to  disclose  exactly  how 
that  ocurred  from  a  personal  standpoint. 


I  thought  there  might  be  an  anecdote  that  we  night  share. 
I've  heard  that  your  father  believes  very  very  much  that 
the  fainily  eoiaes  first  and  to  keep  it  separate  that  he 
would  like  to  spend  time  with  the  children  on  Sunday  and 
that  work  should  never  be  brought  home,  that  the  family 
was  very  very  important.   Do  you  have  any  notions  of 
that  fron  his  own  youth  as  he  grew  up  why  he  had  this 
rather  lovely  picture  of  the  fariily  which  he  shared  with 
his  clerks  in  later  years  and  that  you  lived  through. 
Is  there  .... 

AKS . 
In  his  early  life  are  you  referring  to? 


Yes,  I  mean  is  ...  or  what  notions  do  you  havs  about 
your  father  yourself  that  can  explain  this  marvelous 
family  life  that  he  maintained  for  so  long? 




I  can't  see  any  correlation  between  fc  what  he  did  as 
a  father,  and  what  his  childhood  was.   Ke  was  one  of 
two  children.  He  had  a  sister,  an  older  sister,  and 
then  there  was  himself,  and  that  was  it.  Very  fine, 
hard-working  parents,  but  nothing  that  would  relate 
I  think  to  the  large,  very  fast  moving  family  life  that 
we  had,  and  I  think  the  only  thing  I  can  say  is  that 
in  so  many  things  that  he's  done,  he's  siraply  rsally 
exceptional  man. 


In  terms  of  understanding;  this  exceptional  man  and  the 
things  he's  done  and  tho  things  he's  written,  could  you 
look  back  a  little  bit  to  the  early  years  when  he  was 
brought  up,  Alaneda  County,  tha  circumstances  of  what 
life  was  like  then,  in  terms  of  understanding  his 
concern  for  the  criminal?  The  rights  of  the  accused? 
The  iigs  little  man.  What  can  we  learn  about  his  early 
years  that  can  help  explain  how  be  p.ight  have  felt  about 
sorae  of  the  decisions  in  which  he  participated. 


Well  he  was  raised  in  a  vary  wholesome  atmosphere  and 
a  fairly  rigid  one  from  the  standpoint  of  morality  and 
ethics.  His  father  and  mother  were  not  the  type  that 
would  ever  bend  in  that  direction.   Hot  authoritarian 
by  any  means,  but  certainly  people  of  great  principle. 
I'm  sure  this  rubbed  off  on  hin,  and  also  these  were 



people  who  believed  In  working  hard.  They  believed  in 
the  dignity  of  other  people 3  and  this  was  always 
deeply  engrained  In  my  father.  I  think  that  he's  simply 
one  of  those  people  that  has  an  abiding  faith  in  humanity 
in  general  and  he  honestly  likes  people,  he  really  does , 
and  I  think  when  a  person  likes  people  in  the  way  that 
he  likes  then,  and  really  has  tremendous  respect  for 
thera.  regardless  of  what  they  mi^ht  be,  e°od  or  bad, 
that  you're  going  to  have  the  type  of  decision  that  he 
makes  every  day. 


A  lot  of  people  might  say  your  father  changed  radically 
•when  he  went  to  the  Court,  that  we  saw  a  whole  side  of 
his  thir.kins  and  philosophy  that  was  not  exemplified 
through  the  years  here,  that  he  hadn't  a  political  philosophy 
before.  Do  you  think  your  father  changed  radically  on 
the  Bench? 


I  don't  think  he  changed  one  single  bit.   His  record,  if 
you  look  at  it  as  a  politician  has  consistently  been  one 
of  concern  for  the  very  same  people  that  ne's  showing 
concern  for  in  the  Court,  and  thrtt  Is  practically  every 
one  who  has  a  £.ood  notlve.   He's  done  that.  Ke  was  the 
greatest  libertarian  fron  the  standpoint  of  being  a 
governor  In  California,  as  being  ATtorney  General  In 
California,  as  bein<~  District  Attorney  arid  those  people 
he  prosecuted,  and  those  he  didn't.   He  consistently 



championed  the  cause  of  those  who  were  handicapped, 
helpless,  he  consistently  fought  against  any  inroads 
of  big  gaveranent,  any  oppression  by  those  in  superior 
positions.   I  don't  see  one  bit  of  change,  and  I've  never 
seen  frankly  anything  that's  been  written  or  said  that 
really  has  any  validity  to  the  contrary. 


In  looking  at  your  father's  story,  the  story  of  all 
the  years  in  public  service,,  the  one  thing  that  Just 
inight  be  argued  that  is  something  that  inight  be  un 
pleasant  to  his  at  this  moment  is  the  story  of  the  inter- 
r.ent  of  the  Japanese  during  the  war  years  here  in 
California  when  he  was  Attorney  General.   Do  you  have 
any  thoughts  about  —  has  he  shared  any  thoughts  with 
you  about  how  he  views  thia  today? 

ASS « 

Oh,  certainly.   Every tisi  body  s  recognises  now,  at  least 
I  hope  they  cio  that  that  was  a  tragic  rsist-ake,  it  was 
a  tragic  error,  but  it's  something  that  all  of  us  share 
anrl  we  all  regardless  of  our  ages,  all  had  exactly 
the  same  feelings.  We  responded  to  probably  the  panic 
of  other  people  as  well  as  to  our  own,  and  it  was  wrong, 
and  I'ra  sure  he  recognised  it  was  wrong,  I  think  he 
recognized  it  then  as  wrong,  but  some tinea  when  you're 
in  a  martial  situation,  nany  things  are  wrong,  and  you 
have  to  abide  by  them  anyway.   I  think  it's  quite 
unfair,  though,  to  surest  that  this  was  his  doing.   It 



wasn't  in  any  way.   He  was  merely  an  acquiescing  voice 
to  a  certain  decree,  and  had  he  bucked,  I'm  sure  it 
wouldn't  have  made  a  particle  of  difference,  it  would 
have  happened  anyway. 



I've  read  some  statements  you've  made  about  your 
father's  reaction  to  his  involvement  on  the  whole  process 
of  being  involved  in  the  Warren  Commission.   Could  you 
share  a  few  of  those  thoughts  with  us  that  he  voiced  to 
you  about  that  experience  and  the  effect  it  had  on  him? 


Well  I  think  I'd  have  to  say  more  the  effect  I  observed 
rather  than  directly  what  he  said,  and  it  was  pretty 
obvious  it  was  a  highly  traumatic  experience  for  him. 
I  don't  think  in  all  the  years  that  I've  known  my  father 
I've  ever  seen  him  go  through  a  period  that  I  felt  was 
draining  on  him  as  this .  Of  course  at  the  tirce  he  was 
carrying  basically  three  loads.  He  was  ax  carrying  a 
tremendously  heavy  workload  with  the  Court  itself. 
On  the  decision  end  of  it.  They  had  many  crucial 
decisions  at  that  time.   SEcondly,  he  had  tremendous 
administrative  chores  with  the  court.   He's  always  been 



a  strong  aan  in  the  administration  of  the  court  and  I 
think  will  go  down  in  history  as  being  as  groat  an 
achiever  in  that  arena  as  he  will  with  his  decisions. 
And  at  the  same  tiir,e  he  was  spending  every  conceivable 
moment  outside  working  on  this  ...  on  this  investigation 
and  the  report,  and  he's  the  type  of  man  who  doesn't  have 
to  sleep  eight  hours  at  a  tine,  anc!  I'm  sure  he's  never 
done  so,  and  probably  at  least  the  last  fifty  years. 
He  can  sleep  for  a  few  noraents  and  than  wake  up  and 
worx:  at  a  hundred  percent  efficiency  and  then  perhaps 
an  hour  or  two  later  doze  off  again  for  a  few  momenta 
and  then  resume  hia  work  and  this  he  did  constantly,  too 
rcuch  so  I  think,  and  the  full  story  of  what  went  on  in 
the  eoroiTiiaslon  of  course  has  never  come  out,  'out  I 
suspect  that  it  was  not  an  easy  chore  fron  the  standpoint 
of  the  personalities  involved.   I  imagine  it  was  excep 
tionally  difficult  even  to  get  the  parties  to  agree  on 
what  foria  the  investigation  vould  take,  and  it  was  very 
noticeable  to  rce  that  this  was  taxing  him  extremely 
heavily  and  I  know  that  he  personally  had  to  relive 
constantly  that  assassination,  and  with  hia  tremendous 
regard  for  the  dead  President,  I  just  think  that  in  itself 
was  mere  than  a  man  should  be  asked  to  do. 


I  believe  that  I  read  that  when  asked  to  head  tha 
coramisiaon  in  several  books  I  read,  when  asked  to  head 
the  investigation,  your  father  said  no,  that  he  wasn't 



eager  to,  but  that  the  president  urged  him  very  strongly 
to  do  It,  that  It  was  something  that  he  felt  that  the 
court  should  not  be  involved  in.  You  know  this  business 
of  keeping  the  court  separate  from  other  affairs .  Have 
you  any  views  on  that? 


'.veil  that  seems  to  be  a  matter  of  public  record,  and  I'm 
sure  it  is  true  that  my  father  had  sorae  serious  doubts 
as  to  whether  this  is  something  he  should  do,  and  I 
think  it's  equally  clear  that  the  President  felt  that 
he  was  the  only  man  who  could  head  such  a  commission 
and  have  it  above  any  question  of  .... 
...leaning,  bias  and  so  forth. 


Well  a  nan  in  political  life,  the  nore  we  talk  to  peopls, 
the  more  we  find  that  everyone  who  seerca  to  have  touched 
him  in  his  life,  there's  a  feeling  of  devotion  and 
loyalty  and  affection  that  is  quite  rare  among  political 
and  among  any  men  of  our  time,  and  the  only  criticism 
that  we  K  really  hear  is  from  the  right  wing  and  from 
the  John  Birch  Society  that  we've  heard  about.  What 
was  his  reaction  to  the  Impeach  Earl  Warren  tiir.e  and 
the  criticism  of  that  period? 



Nothing  cliff  crent  8  than  he  had  ever  experienced.  You 
know  he  fought  that  element  of  politics,  be  it  in  the 
Republican  Party  or  the  right  wing  element  of  the 
Democratic  party  all  his  political  life,  and  he's  never 
had  to  be  beholden  in  any  way  to  those  people,  partly 
through  fortuitous  circumstances,  because  they  never 
would  support  hisi  and  so  he  never  had  any  strings  on 
him  whatsoever  with  these  people  and  as  a  natter  of  fact 
they  opposed  him  constantly  throughout  his  tenure  as 
attorney  general,  throughout  his  tenure  as  three-tens 
governor,  and  it  was  no  different.  We  have  always  had 
a  very  substantial  extreme  radical  right  wins  in  California, 
arivl  these  people  have  always  been  against  hin. 


Did  it  hurt  hira?  Did  he  feel  it  impugned  the  dignity  of 
the  Court?   Did  he  have  any  kind  of  (INAUDIBLE)  to  this 
type  of  criticism?  We  never  read  any  of  it  publicly 
any  reactions  that  x  he  had,  although  we  could  see 
Inpeach  P-arl  Warren  signs  on  the  highways  or  in  the 

AMS  . 

No,  I  don't  think  so.   I  really  £i  don't  think  that  that 
bothered  hin  a  bit,  and  I  would  say  only  that  perhaps 
apathy  maybe  on  the  part  of  people  who  should  have  been 
spoaklng  up  in  the  court's  defense  and  in  his  defense 
also,  that  perhaps  night  have  hurt  a  little  bit,  because 



there  were  Dome  periods  where  the  voices  were  fairly 
still,  which  should  have  been  raised,  and  eventually  they 
were,  and  that  was  *±s  fine,  but  as  far  as  what  the 
radical  right  was  doing  itself,  I  don't  think  that 
bothered  hijn  a  bit. 


Your  father  ran  successful  campaigns  and  won  the 
Democratic  and  Republican  endorsement  for  governor  and 
for  attorney  general.  How  has  the  eonplexion  of 
California  changed  in  that  a  man  like  Earl  Warren  could 
be  governor?  V/as  he  in  the  wrong  party,  or  would  he  be 
today  as  opposed  toxxaaihBr  not  as  Chief  Justice. 

ANS . 

Within  the  context  of  California  politics,  you  can't 
say  that  a  nan  like  that  is  ever  in  the  wrong  party 
because  we,  we  like  to  elect  men  of  that  type.   The 
problem  is  getting  them  in  in  the  first  place,  and 
that's  sometimes  tough.  Once  they're  in  we  hold  then 
for  a  long  time  and  they  tend  to  perpetuate  themselves , 
but  it  is  soznetlnea  tough  to  buck  the  party  organizations 
Now  I  very  seriously  doubt  that  he  s  could  get  a  toe 
hold  in  the  Republican  party  today  as  it's,  because  the 
more  conservative  elements  are  so  strongly  in  control 
in  this  state  that  I  don't  think  as  a  young  man  he 
could  get  started.  From  that  standpoint,  he  definitely 
would  be  in  the  wrong  party.   Of  course,  if  this  happened 
before,  he  znanaged  to  get  in  a  position  of  superiority 




and  could,  I'ci  sure  he  could  as  eaaily  control  those 
raaical  elements  of  the  party  now  as  he  did  then. 
Simply  by  force  of  his  personality  and  his  knowledge 
and  the  people  that  he  would  surround  himself  with. 


We  learned  from  some  of  the  clerks  that  they  felt  they 
were  a  substitute  family  when  in  Washington  when  he  was 
Chief  Justice,  because  he  niased  his  own  faraily  so  very 
much  and  that  on  Saturdays  he  would  grab  them  and  take 
them  to  ball  games  and  take  long  walks,  with  them,  and 
they  felt  very  very  much  that  this  is  what  he  laissed 
being  with  his  own  children,  and  enjoyed  then.  When  you 
were  a  young  boy  and  growing  up  and  as  busy  as  he  was, 
what  kinds  of  pleasure,  what  did  you  do  together  as 
father  and  son? 


He'd  do  anything  that  we  wanted  to  do,  and  all  we  had 
to  do  is  express  a  bona  fido  interest  and  it  was  not 
an  improper  thing  to  do,  he'd  do  it  with  us. 


What  did  he  enjoy  most,  was  it  sports  or  reading  or 
movies,  what  did  he  enjoy  most,  if  he  had  a  convent  and 
he  would  grab  you  and  you  would  go  off  somewhere,  what 
did  he  like  to  do  most? 




Oh  I  think  he's  basically  an  outcloorsjnan,  he  likes'  all 
sports,  both  spectator  sports,  and  I  think  he  likes  to 
participate  from  the  standpoint  of  fishing  and  hunting 
and  so  forth,  although  I  have  to  concede  that  when  he 
goes  hunting,  he's  more  likely  to  be  watching  the  clouds 
and  mountains  and  things  of  that  sort  than  actually 
stalking  game. 


Could  you  tell  us  a  little  bit  about  your  own  family  and 
the  ages  of  your  children,  and  do  any  of  your  children 
know  quite  who  their  grandfather  is  in  terns  of  his  role 
in  American  society? 


Yes,  I  think  they  do.   I  think  ray  children  perhaps  know 
more  his  role  than  perhaps  even  we  did  in  the  early 
years,  and  I  think  this  is  becuase  of  the  great  prominence 
the  court  has  come  into.  When  he    ... 


WARR2H  COURT  -  17-13 


. . .  your  children,  and  do  any  of  your  children  know  quite 
who  their  grandfather  is  in  terms  of  his,  role  in  American 


Yes,  I  think  they  do.  I  think  tny  children  perhaps  know 
mere  hia  role  than  perhaps  even  we  did  in  the  early 
years,  and  I  think  this  is  because  of  the  great  prominence 
the  court  haa  coF.e  into.  When  h«  was  first  selected  as 
Chief  Jus tics,  I  was  well  aware  of  the  position  and  under 
stood  ita  aiai^nitude,  not  as  much  as  I  do  now,  though, 
and  I 'a  sure  the  rest  of  the  family  didn't  either.   I'm 
sure  nobody  in  the  United  States  did  at  that  time  either. 
The  position  since  he's  been  on  the  court  has  become  one 
of  great  prominence.   In  fact,  the  judiciary  now  has 
taken  the  spotlight  I  think  away  frosa  both  the  legislative 
and  executive  branches,  and  thio  is  probably  not  entirely 
desirable.   In  fact  I  think  it  indicates  not  so  much  an 
aggressiveness  on  the  part  of  the  courts  but  perhaps  a 
leaving  of  gaps  by  the  legislature  and  by  the  executive 
Governments,  and  I  know  this  is  this  has  caused  sosio 
of  the  tensions  of  our  times,  but  it  has,  it  has  put 
the  spotlight  on  the  courts,  and  perhaps  and  taken  sosne 
of  the  shine  army  frors  the  other  branches  of  governments . 



ASS . 

No.  If  the  need,  if  the  need  Is  there,  and  the  other 
swo  branches  are  not  willing  or  capable  of  fulfilling: 
their  functions,  then  I  think  it's  absolutely  necessary 
for  the  other  branch  to  cone  in,  and  I  would  say  th»* 
3-acie  thing  would  be  true  if  the  Judiciary  was  falling 
down  in  its  Job,  I  think  it  would  be  up  to  Congress  and 
to  the  executive  branch  to  rectify  that  situation. 



What  are  your  recollections  of  the  19*>3  campaign  when 
your  father  ran  for  Vice  President? 


Two  things  stand  out  particularly. 

I  urn 
•  f  j,  » 

Could  you  Just  begin  that  again  




Could  you  talk  a  little  bit  about  your  recollections  of 
the  '*t8  campaign .  What  went  on  that  year,  your  father's 
reaction  to  the  campaign. 


Two  things  that  I  rerseaber  Most  about  the  '^8  campaign 
when  ny  father  ran  on  the  P.epublican  ticket  with  Tow 
Dewey  againot  Harry  Truntan  was  that  he  was  constantly 
trying  to  persuads  the  powers  within  the  party  that  the 
sMissacc  ought  to  be  taken  to  the  people  much  as  Truman 
was  doing.  In  other  yords,  I  guess  in  today's  parlance 
you/d  say  that  Truman  was  telling  it  like  it  is  and 
ay  father  always  felt  that  that  was  the  way  to  campaign, 
ana  in  fact  isore  than  that  I  think  he  felt  it  was 
an  obligation  of  a  candidate  to  get  out  and  talk  to 
the  people  ami  talk  about  the  issues  they  wanted  to 
talk  about  and  to  talk  about  the  things  that  ought  to 
be  discussed.  Hard  issues.  He  x*as  always  a  hard 
iaaue  man  and  a  man  who  went  right  to  the  source  of 
today's  problems  arid  offered  solutions  for  them. 
Secondly,  I  think  the  most  notable  event  of  the  can- 
a?  p&i^n  was  when  Harry  Truman  carse  to  California  and 
at  that  tine  he  coise  on  ...  basically  on  one  of  these 
caiapai^n  swings  I  don't  even  think  in  those  days  they 
called  than  non-campaign  trips  like  they  do  now,  but 



It  was  blatantly  a  canpaign  trip  and  naturally  my  father 
was  expected  to  boycott  this,  but  he  let  It  bs  known  that 
he  was  coins  to  meet  the  President  at  the  President's 
first  stop  and  this  caused  great  diaaay  within  the  party 
'Ay  father  said  no,  he's  the  President  of  the  United 
States,  and  I'EJ  the  governor  of  this  state,  and  any  time 
the  President  cooes  to  a  state  it's  the  governor's  obliga 
tion  to  meet  him,  and  he  did  and  Harry  Truman  was  delighted 
and  they  were  very  close  friends  thereafter.  A3  a  natter 
of  fact,  Truaan  went  on  throughout  that  campaign  swing  to 
say  sose  exceptionally  complimentary  things  about  ray 
father  and  always  did  thereafter  at  a  every  opportunity. 

When  your  father  went  to  the  '52  convention  and  when  he 
case  back,  was  he  how  disappointed  was  he,  how  deeply 
do  you  think  he  wanted  the  presidential  nomination  in 
'52  when  Eisenhower  won? 


It's  very  nard  to  say.  He's  not  a  stan  who  ever  stayed 
on  the  floor*   If  he  ever  was  knocked  down  it  was  an 
extremely  Etonentary  thins  &*id  J-s  wajs  back  on  hia  feet 
coins  as  I  recall,  he  submitted  sajor  legislative 
programs  almost  on  the  exact  day  of  his  return  to 
California  and  that  was  alrsost  inurjedlately  after  the 
con  vent  ion  «  lie  was  Just  off  and  running  as  he  always 
had  been  tssklns  cars  of  the  business  of  California, 
and  I  could  not  discern  any  cis.ippolntTf.ent  whatsoever. 



He   felt  that  was  one  of  the  things   that  happens  in 
political  life  and  he's  always  been  a  political  realist. 


We've  talked  to  so  nany  people  about  your  father  and 
the  faiaily  and  we've  never  had  a  chance  to  really  had 
the  opportunity  to  talk  about  Mrs.  Warren,  and  what  life 
has  been  like  for  her  during  these  very  hectic  years  in 
Washington  and  Sacramento.  Are  the  stories  true  about 
your  mother  ironing  the  shirta  . . .  the  myths  or  the 
legends.  How  did  she  deal  with  his  very  public  life? 
Did  she  enjoy  it? 


Well  she  was  like  my  father.  She  took  what  was  in 
good  spirits  always  and  she  was  a  compulsive  worker, 
there's  no  question  about  it.  She  can  go  on  a  vrork 
binge  like  you've  never  seen  before,  and  this  business 
of  ironing  shirts  and  making  as  many  as  fifteen  cakes 
at  one  ti^o  for  various  charities  and  so  forth  was  not 
at  all  unusual  in  her  life.  She's  Just  one  of  those 
types  of  people,  she  comes  from  a  Scandinavian  back 
ground  that  must  have  scratched  a  very  hard  living  out 
of  the  soil  for  many  centuries,  because  that's  exactly 
the  way  she  treats  every  waiting  moment  of  her  life. 
She  gaa  goes  a  mile  a  minute. 




Being  Earl  Warren's  son" and  a  lawyer,  you  nuat  have  had 
a  chance  talking  about  various  decisions  that  the  court 
had  made  in  the  last  fifteen  years.  Have  there  been  any 
that  you  and  your  father  have  had  &  chance  to  so  round 
about  or.  and  differ  on? 

AHS . 

Well  if  there  have  been  any  that  I  have  differed  on 
initially  I  have  always  adopted  his  viewpoint  in  the  long 
run  because  I  think  his  reasoning  has  been  correct. 
Naturally  I  have  had  doubts  about  some  of  these  things, 
but  he 'a  right,  and  I've  been  wrong. 


lias  he  told  you  hia  plans  for  the  next  years,  whether  he's 
going  to  write  or  travel  or  what  he  has  in  raind?  I 
understand  the  clerks  gave  hija  a  desk  at  the  dinner 
last  week  that  will  go  into  the  apartment  in  Washington 
in  the  hotel,  am!  I  think  everybody  was  betting  that 
he'd  s  neve  back  to  California. 


I  don't  know  what  he'll  do  for  sure,  except  that  I  do 
knov  that  he  does  have  this  abiding  interest  in  the 
administration  of  the  courts,  and  he  does  have  «ar 
various  duties  ami  will  be  called  upon  to  do  other 
things  as  well  and  I  think  he  xill  keep  very  active  in 
that  area.  He  also  hao  a  very  fierce  interest  in  the 
principle  of  world  law,  and  I  would  expect  his  to  keep 




active  In  that  area,  because  he's  recognized  throughout 
the  world  aa  the  chief  judicial  leader  of  the  world,  and 
I  wouldn't  be  surprised  to  see  nia  do  some  teaching. 
He1  a  always  felt  close  to  the  universities  of  this  country, 
he  feels  that  they  are  the  probably  ultimately  the  real 
source  of  progress  for  our  country  and  I  wouldn't  at  all 
ce  surprised  if  he  were  to  go  into  scnc  sort  of  association 
with  aonfe  of  the  universities,  one  or  more  of  then,  and 
actually  do  teachir./r  in  a  sense. 


We  wore  talking  a  few  Minutes  ago  about  your  father's 
scrupulousness  and  we  talked  about  how  he  mist  feel  about 
aone  of  the  things  that  have  happened,  but  can  you  go  back 
to  when  he  was  being,  the  congressional  .... 
when  congreas  ....  when  your  father  was  up  for  senate 
confirmation  when  he  was  appointed  as  Chief  Justice, 
some  ilra  things  happened  at  that  tine  in  which  critics 
....  I  ass  tired,...  could  you  tell  us  about  the  time 
wiien  the  Senate  was  to  confirm  your  father's  nomination 
to  the  court? 

Yes,  ray  father  has  always  conducted  hijnself  so  sieticuloualy 
that  even  his  worat  detractors  have  never  be«n  able  to  do 
any  no  re  than  attack  him  on  the  basis  of  his  decisions, 
his  personal  lifo  and  hia  honor.ty,  his  ethics  have  just 
been  above  reproach  in  every  respect,  even  to  the  point 
where  when  he  \*as  being  confirmed  by  the  Senate,  aa 



chief  Justice  and  a  particular  senator  wanted  to  embarrass 

the  President,  this  senator  had  keen/friendly  to  ray 

father  incidentally  but  did  apparently  want  to  for  his 
personal  reasons  want  to  eabarrass  the  President  to  sone 
degree  and  hold  up  the  confirmation  for  a  while,  triad 
to  find  something  to  latch  on  to  and  finally  in  desperation 
just  had  to  come  up  with  a  completely  fixa  fictional 
story  —  1  can't  even  recall  what  it  was,  but  it  was 
absolutely  a  fairy  tale  and  it  was  eventually  shown  to 
be  exactly  that,  but  that's  the  best  that  anybody's  ever 
been  able  to  do.  He's  simply  untouchable  when  it  cones 
to  the  standpoint  of  attacking  his  integrity. 


As  a  last  question,  could  you  reflect  for  me  a  little 
bit  about  one  could  say  that  Earl  Warren  voted  against 
reapportionnent  in  California  as  governor  when  he  went 
to  Washington  to  the  supremo  court,  he  had  a  different 
view.  W.iat  happened? 


Well  I  think  ?3aybe  there's  a  difference  between  advocating 
something  aus  a  politician,  particularly  when  you  think 
it's  only  a  political  issue  and  not  an  issue  that  is 
real,  so  to  apeak.   Reapportionnent  never  really  was  a 
political  issue  in  California,  except  from  the  stand 
point  of  talking  and  so  it  was  the  only  thing  to  do  in 
California  was  to  ar.cue  against  reapportion-ient  because 
that  was  the  popular  thing  to  do  and  if  you  wanted  to 



keep  your  political  skin  intact  and  not  spend  .too  much 

tise  on  the  issue,  you  naturally  opposed  it,  but  there 

never  was  really  any  serious  suggestion  of  reapportionment ." 

Now,  however,  yhert  a  sjan  goes  to  the  suprene  court  and 
ha  interprets  it  from  a  constitutional  point  of  view, 
and  looks  not  Juat  at  California,  which  nay  be  an  entirely 
different  situation  than  say  Georgia,  or  Louisiana  or 
sone  of  the  other  states,  then  he  aust  of  course  take 
the  such  broader  view  and  in  fact  he  oust  take  the 
constitutional  view,  not  the  politician's  view,  but  the 
constitutional  view.  Hot  really  very  inconsistent. 


Have  there  fceen  any  decisions  your  father  has  nade  on  the 
court  that  have  surprised  you,  not  so  such  that  you 
differed  with,  but  that  surprised  you  that  he  canlEX  took 
the  position  that  he  did  on  an  issue? 

ANS . 

No  I  don't  think  30.   I  leas  don't  think  there  are  any 
that  really  did  surprise  zne.  The  one  decision  that  I 
seem  to  stand  practically  alone  en  in  having  sone  surprise, 
in  fact  thinicing  it's  a  very  significant  decision  or  set 
of  decisions  wer«  those  that  had  to  do  with  Sunday  blus 
laws  aaatx  in  I  believe  it  waa  Maryland,  and  in  those 
particularly  .... 


17-1 8/10 


You  car;  keep  going  .... 

AHS  . 

In  those  particular  situations,  the  court  upheld  the 
right  to  have  these  blue  laws  which  prevented  many  people 
frora  having  the  shops  open  on  Sunday  even  though  they 
might  be  Jewa  or  some  other  group  that  didn't  ate  a 
observe  Sunday  as  the  Sabbath  and  this  seeiaed  rather 
unfair,  but  it's  probably  in  many  respects,  the  saost 
far-reaching  of  many  of  those  decisions,  inasmuch  as 
it  did  establish  the  rtglc  right  of  local  government 
particularly  to  sot  a  you  night  say  a  course  of  social 
conduct  for  the  people  in  the  eorsjrrunity  inasmuch  as  it 
practically  forced  isost  people  to  spend  some  time  with 
their  farsilies. 



No,  the  obscenity  area  is  a  quagmire  that  we've  only 
ventured  into  a  few  feet.  We  have  a  long  way  to  go 
until  that's  solved.   In  fact  I  rather  doubt  that  that 
can  ever  be  solved  by  court  decisions,  I  don't  think  so. 
I'm  not  even  sure  that  we  could  ever  get  a  formula  out 
of  the  courts  that  would  be  Si  even  half  way  adequate. 
That's  a  social  problem. 



INDEX  --  Earl  Warren,  Jr. 

Alameda  County  45.   See  also  District  Attorney's  office 

Board  of  Supervisors   61 
appointments  to  public  office  54 
Arvin  36 

Bakersfield   34-35,  36-38 

black  population  35-37 

Chinese  population  36 

high  school   38 

Board  of  Regents   (see  University  of  California) 
Bricker,  John  41 
Brown,  Edmund  G.   10,  20,  21,  26-27 

California  State 

Attorney  General  4,  24,  26,  33,  58 

Department  of  Corrections  54 

Department  of  Public  Health  54 

Judicial  Qualifications  Commission  58 

Supreme  Court  57-58 

1942  45,  46 

1944  41 

1946  46,  47 

1948  30,  40,  41 

1950  44,  59-60 

1952  42,  44 

1962   (Brown-Nixon  gubernatorial)   20 

campaigning  4,  20,  21,  30,  59-60 

finances  24-25,  29,  45,  59 

political  base   12 

public  relations  21-22 
Chinese  36 
Chotiner,  Murray  60 
civil  liberties   31,  34 
Communists  57,  58,  60 
Constitution,  U.S.   39 

criminal  procedures  (see  civil  liberties) 
cross-filing  28 

Davis  (see  University  of  California) 

Declaration  of  Independence  3 

Del  Paso  Country  Club   10 

Democratic  Party  22-24,  26,  28,  43,  47-48 


Depression  12 

Dewey,  Thomas  E.   23,  40,  41-42 
District  Attorney's  office  11,  33,  61 
Douglas,  Helen  Gahagan  59-60 

Eisenhower,  Dwight  D.   42-43,  44 

Elks  Club   10 

Examiner,  San  Francisco  35 

Fair  Employment  Practices  Commission  (FEPC)   35 

Fascists  57 

Feigenbaum,  B.  J.  "Joe"  29,  62 

Fields,  Al   19 

governor's  mansion  4-5,  9-10,  17 
Governor's  Office   52-53 

appointments  54 
Grapes  of  Wrath,  The  37 

Haas,  Walter  29 
Halverson,  Dr.  Wilton  54 
Hammer,  Thomas   19 
Hanford   36 
health  insurance  24 
highways  45-46 
Hotchkis,  Preston  29 
Houser,  Fred  F.   48-49 

internment,  Japanese-American  31-32 

Jahnsen,  Oscar  5,  9,  34 
Japanese -Americans 

exchange  programs  33 

individuality  57 

internment  31-32 

Japanese -American  Citizens  League  32 

judges  32 
Johnson,  Hiram  22 
Jones,  Walter  62 

Katcher,  Leo  60 

Keck,  Bill  46 

Kelly  Machine  61 

Kennedy,  John  20,  25-26,  41 

Kennedy  Commission  7 

Kenny,  Robert  46-48 

Knight,  Goodwin  J.   27-29 

Knight,  Virginia  10 

Knowland,  William  F.   25,  42,  44-45,  62 


Korean  War  17 

Kuchel,  Thomas  H.   21,  50-51 

labor  relations  56 
labor  unions  41 
Law  Week  39 

health  insurance  24 

highways  45-46 

partisan  support  for  23-24 

Taft-Hartley  Act  43 
Life  magazine   13 

MacGregor,  Helen  5,  52-53,  62-63 
McCarran  Act  31-32 

Title  II  31 
McCarthyism  57 
McGee,  Richard  54 
McWilliams,  Carey  33 
Mailliard,  William  29 
Masaoka,  Mike   32 
Merriam,  Frank  10 
Morton,  Harold  46,  62 
Mullins,  John  61 

Nazism  57 

Negroes  31-32,  35,  36-37 

Nixon,  Richard  M.   20-22,  26,  44,  59-60 

no -knock  law  32 

Oakland   1,  7,  8,  45 

zoo  7 

Oakley,  James  28,  38,  52,  53 
oil  interests  45-46 
Olney,  Warren  62 
Olson,  Culbert  10,  24,  25,  46 

Plank,  Ethel  Warren  7,  8 
progressivism  22-24 

Radin,  Max  57-58 

Reagan,  Ronald   10 

Republican  Party  20,  22-25,  27-28,  29,  40,  42,  43,  46,  49 

Central  Committees  25,  27 

right  wing  44-45 

Young  Republicans  60 
Rolph,  James   10,  60 
Roosevelt,  James  10,  60 


Sacramento  2,  19 

Sacramento  Bee  11,  28 

Santa  Monica  11 

San  Quentin  34 

Saturday  Evening  Post   13 

Scoggins,  Verne  53 

Small,  M.F.  "Pop"  33,  52,  53,  61 

Southern  California  12 

Solano  County  14 

special  interests  (set;  oil  interests) 

Steinhart,  Jesse.  29,  62 

Stevenson,  Adlai  26 

Stevenson,  Janet  48 

Stone,  Irving  1,  41 

Sutter  Club  10 

Sweigert,  William  52,  53 

Swig,  Ben  62 

Taft,  Robert  42-43 

Taft-Hartley  Act  43 

Tribune,  Oakland  45 

Truman,  Harry  23,  40,  41,  49-50 

library  50 
Tulare  County  37 

United  States 

Constitution  39 

Law  3 

Supreme  Court   7,  18,  24 

Supreme  Court  Justice  7,  18,  24,  27,  33,  41,  50 
University  of  California 

at  Berkeley  15,  16,  17,  30,  56 

at  Davis  3,  13-17,  30,  56 

student  activities  14-17 
Picnic  Day  14 

at  Los  Angeles  15,  16 

alumni  16 

Board  of  Regents  38,  57 

California  Club  16 

Institute  of  Industrial  Relations   56 

loyalty  oath  56-57 
Uplifter's  Club  11-12 

Wall  Street  41 
Warren  children 

Dorothy   1,  30,  61 
Earl,  Jr. 

army   17 

career  11-12,  14,  17,  19,  22 
political  affiliation  20-26 
schooling  1-4,  8-9,  10,  13-17 


Warren  children  (continued) 

James  1,  30 

Nina,  "Honeybear"   1,  7-9,  30,  61 

Robert  1,  8,  30 

Virginia  1,  17,  30 
Warren  family  recreation  8,  10,  12 
Warren,  Christine  "Chrystal"  (Mrs.  Methias)   8 
Warren,  Earl,  Sr „   passim 
Warren,  Methias 

murder  of  35-36 
Warren  Commission  31 
Weaver,  John  61,  62 
Werdel,  Thomas  28,  44-45 
Whitaker  and  Baxter,  Inc.   22 
Wilson,  Jim  16 
Wollenberg,  Albert  53 
World  War  II  31 

Yolo  County  14 
Young,  Clement  C.   10 

Regional  Oral  History  Office  University  of  California 

The  Bancroft  Library  Berkeley,  California 

Earl  Warren  Oral  History  Project 

Nina  Warren  Brien 

An  Interview  Conducted  by 

Miriam  Feingold  Stein 

in  1977 

Copyright   (c)   1980  by  The  Regents  of  the  University  of  California 

Dr.    and  Mrs.    Stuart   Brien,    1960 

Brien   children,    Earl,    6 ; 
William,    8;     Heather,    7. 

Eleven-year   old   Honeybear   riding   Flash,    Barbara 
Worth   Stables,    Sacramento,    1945.     Photo  by  Glen 
Fishback,   Sacramento 

TABLE  OF  CONTENTS  --  Nina  Warren  Brien 



School  Days  1 

Music  3 

Sports  5 

Family  Pets  13 

Mrs.  Warren  and  the  Governor's  Mansion  17 

Discipline  22 


Earl  Warren  at  Home  24 

Political  Campaigns  27 

The  Polio  Attack  29 

Marriage  and  Family  32 

Nicknames  34 

INDEX  36 

Nina  Warren  Brian 



Nina  ("Honeybear")  Warren  Brien  was  interviewed  by  the  Regional  Oral 
History  Office's  Earl  Warren  Oral  History  Project  in  order  to  document  her 
recollections  of  the  Warren  family  and  her  reflections  on  Earl  Warren  as  a 

A  single  interview  was  held  at  her  home  in  Beverly  Hills,  California, on 
July  25,  1977,  conducted  by  Miriam  Stein.   Mrs.  Brien  had  prepared  for  the 
interview  by  reviewing  a  brief  outline  prepared  by  the  interviewer.   An 
energetic  and  soft-spoken  woman,  she  recounted  her  warm  recollections  of 
the  Warren  family,  her  bout  with  polio,  and  her  participation  in  her 
father's  political  career. 

The  transcription  of  the  tape-recorded  interview  was  lightly  edited 
for  clarity  by  the  interviewer,  and  was  then  carefully  reviewed  by  Mrs.  Brien 
and  her  family. 

Miriam  Stein 

7  January  1979 

Regional  Oral  History  Office 

486  The  Bancroft  Library 

University  of  California  at  Berkeley 

Nina  Warren  Brian 


[Date  of  Interview:   25  July  1977] 
[begin  tape  1,  side  1] 

School  Days 

Stein:  Why  don't  we  start  with  when  and  where  you  were  born? 

Brien:  Oakland,  California. 

Stein:  And  what  was  the  date?  I  know  it  was  1933. 

Brien:  October  13,  1933. 

Stein:   So  you  were  born  when  Earl  Warren  was  still  district  attorney,  then, 
because  he  became  attorney  general  in  1938. 

Brien:   Yes. 

Stein:    Then  you  went  to  grammar  schools  in  Oakland?   Lakeview. 

Brien:   Yes,  I  went  to  Lakeview  grammar  school  in  Oakland.   Then  I  think  I 
was  nine  when  Daddy  became  governor,  and  we  moved  to  Sacramento.   I 
went  to  Crocker  grammar  school  and  California  Junior  High  School. 
I  went  to  C.K.  McClatchy  High  School.   After  graduating  from  high 
school,  I  stayed  out  of  school  for  a  year.   I  lived  in  Washington 
for  about  six  months  and  in  Hawaii  for  about  the  same  length  of  time 
and  in  Arrowhead  Springs  for  two  months.   Then  I  came  back  and  went 
to  UCLA. 

Stein:    I  hadn't  known  that  you'd  lived  in  all  those  different  places  between 
high  school  and  college. 

Brien:   There  were  rather  unusual  circumstances,  because  I  had  contracted 
polio  when  I  was  fifteen.   I  was  a  senior  at  C.K.  McClatchy  High 
School.   I  graduated  with  my  class,  but  that  last  year  I  was 

Nina  Warren  Brian 

Brian:   bedridden,  so  I  had  to  do  all  my  studying  at  home  at  the  mansion. 
I  was  fortunate  to  make  it  to  the  graduation. 

Afterwards,  when  I  was  learning  to  walk  and  having  physical 
therapy,  I  got  to  a  point  where  I  was  able  to  move  around  on  crutches. 
Then  Mother  and  Daddy  took  me  to  Hawaii.   Daddy  stayed  with  us  for  a 
few  days,  and  then  Mother  and  I  stayed  on  for  some  time. 

When  I  returned  from  Hawaii  I  went  to  Washington,  B.C.,  and  lived 
there  for  a  while.   It  was  too  late  to  enroll  in  college.   I  had  just 
missed  enrollment;  school  had  been  in  session  a  week,  and  they're 
quite  strict  in  the  East  about  enrolling  on  time.   So  I  stayed  out 
that  year,  which  was  probably  the  best  thing  I  could  have  done. 

Then  I  decided  to  come  out  to  Los  Angeles  and  go  to  UCLA.  My 
sister  Dottie  was  here  at  UCLA  at  the  time.   I  love  Southern 
California,  and  I  was  really  into  surfing  at  the  time  because  of 
spending  some  time  in  Hawaii.   That's  all  I  did  over  there. 

Stein:    So  you  had  made  enough  of  a  recovery  to  be  able  to  handle  surfing. 

Brien:   Right.   It  was  a  great  period  for  me  as  far  as  recuperation  and  getting 
my  strength  back.   It  was  really  fabulous.   So  that  brings  us  up  to  my 
college  career. 

Stein:   Let  me  back  up  just  a  minute  to  your  high  school  days.   Do  you  remember 
either  of  your  parents  being  at  all  involved  in  your  school  activities 
or  in  PTA  or  anything  like  that? 

Brien:   No,  I  don't  think  they  were  active  at  all  in  school  affairs.   In  the 
first  place,  in  those  days  it  wasn't  what  it  is  today  where  all  the 
parents  are  participating  all  the  time  and  are  very  much  involved 
with  the  schools  and  the  programs.   In  those  days,  I  know  that  they 
weren't  involved,  and  I  don't  think  that  many  parents  were.   I  don't 
recall  any  of  my  friends'  parents  being  involved  in  PTA,  so  I  don't 
know  how  active  it  was  in  Sacramento.   And  Oakland  I  can't  remember 
at  all.   I  was  really  too  young.   But  I  don't  think  they  participated 
in  any  PTA  endeavors. 

Stein:   Would  they  help  you  with  homework  and  things  like  that? 

Brien:   My  mother  never  did;  my  father  would  help  if  we  asked  him.   But  if 
we  were  to  sit  down  and  ask  him  questions,  he  would  get  so  involved 
in  the  homework  that  it  was  really  easier  to  do  it  on  our  own. 
[Laughter]   He'd  really  get  so  interested  and  ask  so  many  questions 
and  be  involved  to  the  point  where  it  was  really  much  easier  just  to 
do  it  myself.   What  I  wanted  were  just  some  quick  answers,  and  he 
wasn't  going  to  do  that  for  me.   He  was  going  to  see  that  I  learned 
the  correct  way.   So  after  a  few  sessions  like  that,  I  never  asked 

Nina  Warren  Brian 

Stein:   You  learned  that  lesson  fast. 
Brien:   Yes,  very  quickly. 


Stein:   Were  there  any  subjects  in  school  you  particularly  enjoyed? 
Brien:    In  high  school? 
Stein:   Yes. 

Brien:    I  loved  sports.   That  was  my  favorite,  P.E.  [physical  education]. 
And  I  loved  music.   I  participated  a  great  deal  in  music  projects. 
I  played  the  violin,  the  viola,  the  cello,  and  the  bass  viol. 

Stein:   You  were  an  entire  string  section  all  by  yourself! 

Brien:    I  didn't  play  any  of  them  well,  but  I  played  them  all,  and  I  loved  it. 

It  was  fun.   I  loved  music,  and  the  choir.   I  sang  in  the  choir. 

Those  were  really  my  main  interests  in  high  school  and  grammar  school 

Stein:    Did  you  play  in  the  school  orchestra? 

Brien:   Oh,  yes.   The  school  orchestra,  the  a  oappella  choir,  and  many 

musical  events.   In  our  school  they  stressed  music,  and  there  was 
always  music  at  all  of  our  programs  and  PTA  meetings,  so  it  took  up 
a  great  deal  of  my  time.   It  was  pretty  much  of  a  full-time  job 
participating  in  those  events. 

Stein:    I  can  imagine.   Did  you  own  every  one  of  those  instruments:  .a  violin 
and  a  viola  and  a  cello  and  a  bass? 

Brien:   No.   The  high  school  furnished  the  instrument  if  you  took  lessons  for 
so  many  months  and  showed  a  certain  amount  of  improvement  and 
demonstrated  that  you  were  interested  and  responsible.   But  I  never 
bought  an  instrument. 

Stein:   That  meant  that  the  governor's  mansion  would  resound  with  the  sound 
of  violin  practice? 

Brien:   It  was  terrible.   The  violin  wasn't  so  bad  and  the  viola  wasn't  so 
bad,  but  when  I  took  up  the  cello  that  was  the  worst.   The  entire 
family  intimated  that  they  couldn't  stand  my  practicing.   [Laughter] 

Nina  Warren  Brien 







The  cello  is  the  most  beautiful  instrument  in  the  world,  if  played 
well.   But  when  played  poorly,  it's  the  worst.  [Laughter]   And  the 
bass  viol  I  didn't  bring  home.   That  was  just  a  bit  big  for  the  car 
with  five  kids  in  it. 

To  say  nothing  of  you I 

It  must  have  been  as  big  as  you  were  at  the 

It  was  much  bigger  than  I  was.  A  cello  is  a  fairly  big  instrument, 
and  when  I  was  in  high  school  it  was  quite  an  ordeal  to  lug  that 
cello  back  and  forth  every  day.   We  lived  quite  a  distance  from  our 
school.   The  driver  was  one  of  the  guards  at  the  mansion. 

Was  that  Pat  Patterson? 

Edgar  "Pat"  Patterson,  Archie  Sparks,  Elwood,  Jimmy  Waters — there 
were  a  number  of  them.   They  worked  in  shifts.   One  would  come  on 
from  eight  in  the  morning  to  four  in  the  afternoon;  one  would  then 
come  on  from  four  in  the  afternoon  to  twelve  at  night;  he'd  be 
relieved  by  another  guard  from  twelve  to  four,  and  so  forth.   They 
were  always  shifting  around. 

But  because  we  lived  such  a  tremendous  distance  from  school — 
you  know,  the  mansion  is  in  downtown  Sacramento — we  had  to  depend  on 
private  transportation,  and  the  guards  would  drive  us  to  and  from 
school.   When  we  first  moved  to  Sacramento  and  Daddy  was  governor 
they  would  drive  us  in  a  big  black  limousine,  and  my  sisters  and 
brothers  and  I  were  so  embarrassed  I   We  came  home  and  we  said,  "Oh 
Daddy,  we  can't  ride  in  that  big  limousine!   We  see  all  of  our 
friends  and  it's  so  embarrassing  and  we  hide  on  the  floor  of  the  car. 
It's  terrible!" 

So  Daddy  arranged  to  have  a  Chevrolet  transport  us  around  so  we 
wouldn't  be  ostentatious.  And  even  then  it  was  a  big  thing.  We  were 
so  embarrassed  that  we  would  have  the  guard  drop  us  off  a  block  away 
from  school  and  we'd  walk  to  school.   And  here  I  was  with  my  big  cello, 
walking  a  block  to  school  every  morning.  And,  of  course,  all  of  our 
friends  must  have  known  the  reason,  but  they  never  said  anything. 

That  was  one  thing  I  wondered  about,  whether  your  friends  and  the 
teachers  at  school  treated  you  any  differently  because  you  were  the 
governor's  children. 

No,  no,  they  didn't.   Children  don't  think  in  terms  of  who  someone  is 
or  who  someone's  parents  are,  and  actually  it  wasn't  we  children  who 
were  anything;  it  was  my  father.   People  don't  stop  to  think.   Children 
certainly  don't.   Maybe  adults  do,  but  children  don't  stop  and  remind 
themselves  that  someone  has  an  important  father.   You  like  people  for 
what  they  are. 

Nina  Warren  Brian 


Stein:   What  about  the  teachers? 

Brien:   The  teachers  were  the  same  with  us  as  they  were  with  anyone,  I'm  sure. 
I  mean,  I  never  saw  any  sign  of  favoritism  or  non-favoritism. 




You  also  mentioned  you  were  involved  in  sports, 

What  sports  were 


I  used  to  ride  horses  a  great  deal.   Actually,  when  we  moved  to 
Sacramento  I  was  very,  very  lonesome  because  I  had  left  all  of  my 
friends  in  Oakland,  California,  and  it  was  a  difficult  adjustment 
for  me.   I  guess  I  was  between  eight  and  nine.   It  was  very  lonely 
for  me  for  a  while  in  Sacramento  at  the  governor's  mansion,  and 
because  the  mansion  was  so  removed  from  the  school,  we  weren't 
around  any  of  our  playmates  or  the  children  we  went  to  school  with. 

My  father,  I  think  realizing  this,  thought  it  would  be  a  good 
idea  to  get  me  interested  in  horses.   A  friend  of  his  had  suggested 
that  he  get  me  a  horse,  which  he  did.   That  horse  was  a  pinto  pony, 
one  of  the  lead  horses  at  Santa  Anita  that  bring  the  race  horses  out 
on  the  track.   His  name  was  Peanuts.   This  man  who  was  a  friend  of 
Daddy's,  Oliver  D.  Hamlin,  Jr.,  gave  me  this  horse.   We  took  him  to 
Barbara  Worth  Stables,  which  was  the  riding  stable  in  Sacramento  at 
the  time. 

The  minute  I'd  finish  school  I'd  come  back  to  the  mansion, 
change  my  clothes,  and  off  I'd  go  to  the  riding  stable.   I  rode 
every  single  day  of  my  life  until  I  had  polio,  except  for  the  winter 
months  when  I  skied.   In  those  days  I  used  to  ski  every  Saturday  and 
Sunday.   We  were  so  close  to  the  mountains.   But  my  little  Peanuts 
was  the  most  adorable  horse  in  the  world,  and  I  spent  most  of  my  time 
riding  him. 

After  a  while  I  started  riding  hunters  and  jumpers  for  Barbara 
Worth.   I  used  to  ride  a  lot  of  her  horses  for  her.   Then  I  started 
traveling  around  with  her  and  showing  her  horses  in  California  horse 
shows . 

That  must  have  been  very  exciting  to  travel  and  participate  in  shows. 

Yes,  it  was  because  I  loved  it.   I  loved  riding  with  a  passion.   Then 
Daddy  bought  me  a  horse,  a  thoroughbred  that  I  could  train  to  jump 
myself,  and  that  was  very  exciting  too. 

Nina  Warren  Brian 

Stein:  What  was  that  horse  named? 

Brien:  Nozama. 

Stein:  That  was  Nozama.   He  or  she  appears  on  the  Christmas  cards. 

Brien:  Yes.   Beautiful  black  thoroughbred. 

Stein:  And  you  trained,  was  it  her  or  him? 

Brien:  Her. 

Stein:  You  trained  her,  then? 

Brien:   Yes.   Her  mother  was  Amazon  Maid.   That's  how  they  happened  to  name 
her  Nozama.   It's  amazon  backwards,  isn't  it! 

Stein:   It  certainly  is. 

Brien:   Amazon  Maid  was  the  West  Coast  hunter  champion  in  this  area.   She  was 
a  beautiful  horse.  When  we  spent  our  summers  at  the  Uplifter's  Ranch 
in  Santa  Monica,  I  met  the  woman  who  owned  Nozama 's  half-sister, 
Peggy  Platt.   We  used  to  ride  together  at  the  Uplifter's  Ranch  in 
the  summertime.   Horseback  riding  was  really  my  great  love.   And 
skiing  was  too.   I  truly  loved  skiing.   I  still  say  to  this  day  that 
skiing  is  probably  one  of  the  best  sports  in  the  world.   You  have 
total  and  complete  freedom.  You  can  do  anything  you  want  on  a  pair 
of  skis.   It's  a  great  sport. 

There  was  only  one  drawback  with  skiing.   When  Daddy  was 
district  attorney  and  attorney  general  he  had  had  so  many  cases  of 
things  that  had  happened  up  in  the  ski  country  that  he  was  always 
opposed  to  my  staying  overnight.   He  never  allowed  me  to  stay 
overnight  up  there,  never. 

Stein:   What  was  he  afraid  of? 

Brien:   Well,  I  don't  know,  but  in  those  days  they  had  had  a  lot  of  petty 

crime  and  problems  up  in  ski  resorts.   I  don't  know  whether  it  was  a 
risque  group  or  what  it  was,  but  I  do  know  that  I  was  never  allowed 
to  stay  up  there  overnight.   So  I  got  up  at  three-thirty  on  Saturday 
morning  to  get  down  to  the  bus.   There  were  always  charter  buses 
leaving  Sacramento  because  it  was  so  close  to  the  mountains,  and  you 
could  get  on  a  charter  very  easily.   I'd  get  down  there;  I'd  be  so 
tired,  and  I'd  get  on  that  ski  bus. 

We'd  get  up  to  the  mountains  and  ski  all  day  long  and  get  back 
about  nine  o'clock.   My  mother  would  see  me  coming  in,  and  she'd  turn 
on  the  hot  bath  and  bring  me  dinner  in  bed.   I'd  be  so  exhausted. 
Then  on  Sunday  morning  I'd  do  the  same  thing.   I'd  get  up  at  three- 
thirty  in  the  morning  and  start  all  over  again. 

Nina  Warren  Brien 


Stein:    That's  just  amazing. 

Brien:   I  loved  the  sport,  I  really  did. 

Stein:   Where  did  you  ski?  What  resort? 

Brien:   It  would  be  a  different  place  every  time  depending  on  where  the  bus 
went.   Sugar  Bowl,  Donner  Pass,  you  know,  in  that  area.   Then,  I  was 
one  of  the  first  persons  down  Squaw  Valley  mountain.   It  was  really 
a  coincidence.   It  was  just  a  quirkish  thing  that  happened. 

We'd  gone  up  for  the  opening  of  Squaw  Valley.   There  was  a 
group  of  high  school  kids  that  had  gone  up  for  the  opening  of  it, 
and  when  we  arrived  there  was  a  terrible  snow  storm.   It  was  one  of 
the  worst  I've  ever  seen.   And  because  I'd  skied  so  much  in  the  area, 
I  knew  all  of  the  ski  patrol  and  the  ski  instructors  because  when 
Squaw  Valley  opened,  they  drew  from  Sugar  Bowl  and  Donner  Pass  and 
all  the  other  places.   So  I  knew  them  all.   We  were  all  sitting  around 
looking  out  over  this  terrible  snow,  and  the  patrol  decided  they 
wanted  to  go  down  that  hill.   So  they  said,  "Come  on,  Honeybear,  we'll 
take  you  with  us."  And  so  I  went  up  with  the  ski  patrol.   I  wasn't 
the  first  person  down  the  hill,  the  patrol  was.   But  I  was  the  first 
amateur  down  the  hill I 

Stein:   You  were  the  first  civilian. 

Brien:   Civilian.  [Laughter]   We  were  skiing  in  powder  up  to  our  knees.   It 
was  really  quite  frightening,  not  knowing  the  slope  at  all;  never 
having  been  down  it,  and  then  to  go  down  a  new  slope  not  knowing 
what's  underneath  all  that  powder. 

Stein:   I'll  say. 

Brien:   But  it  was  fun  and  exciting. 

Stein:   Did  you  know  how  to  ski  in  powder  at  that  point?  Had  you  had  much 

Brien:   Well,  not  in  that  kind  of  powder,  no.   I  don't  think  I'd  ever  do  it 
again.   It  was  really  spooky.  [Laughter] 

Stein:   At  least  you  can  say  you  did  it  once. 

Brien:   Yes,  once.   Once  is  enough.   There  are  a  lot  of  disadvantages  in 

skiing  in  powder.   I  shouldn't  think  you'd  have  the  control  that  you 
would  otherwise. 

Stein:   Right.   I  think  that  it's  almost  a  different  technique. 
Brien:    It  must  be. 

Nina  Warren  Brian 

Stein:   What  did  your  mother  think  about  all  these  activities?   Did  she 
worry  about  you  hurting  yourself? 

Brien:    I'm  not  sure.   I  think  my  mother  used  to  worry  about  me  riding  horse 
back,  because  she  never  once  came  to  a  horse -show,  and  on  Tuesday  and 
Thursday  night  at  Barbara  Worth  Stables  we  had  mini  horse  shows.   All 
the  family  and  friends  of  the  participant  would  come  and  sit  in  the 
stands  and  they  would  auction  the  horse.  You'd  parade  up  and  down 
in  front  of  the  stands,  and  the  owner  of  the  stable  would  sell  you 
and  your  horse. 

Of  course,  the  people  that  bought  you  were  always  your  family, 
you  know.   [Laughter]   The  betting  would  start,  "Who  would  like 
Honeybear  and  Nozama?"  And  somebody  would  say,  "Oh,  I'll  give  50c." 
"Oh,  I'll  give  75c." 

So  we  had  those  little  jumping  competitions  on  Tuesday  and 
Thursday  nights,  but  my  mother  would  never  come.   And  I'm  sure  it 
was  because  she  was  afraid  to  see  me  jump. 

My  father,  whenever  he  was  in  town,  would  always  be  there  to  buy 
me,  for  fear  someone  else  wouldn't.   [Laughter]   This  was  especially 
true  when  I  trained  my  pinto  pony,  Peanuts,  to  jump.   Nobody  was  too 
excited  about  buying  me  because  they  knew  they  wouldn't  get  any  money 
back;  there  was  no  way  I  was  going  to  win.   But  a  couple  of  times  I 
fooled  them,  and  fortunately  those  were  the  times  when  my  father 
bought  me.   He  was  so  pleased.   He  would  just  beam.   It  was  such  fun 
for  him.   He'd  win  a  kitty  of  maybe  $5  or  $10  for  first  prize. 

Whenever  my  father  was  in  town,  he  would  always  come  to  every 
horse  show  that  I  was  in,  and  he  would  come  to  every  swimming  event 
if  I  was  racing  or  swimming. 

Stein:    So  you  swam  also? 

Brien:   Yes.   He  would  always  be  there  if  it  was  a  big  event.   But  snow 
skiing,  that's  one  sport  I  don't  think  he  ever  saw  me  do  because, 
of  course,  we  had  to  go  quite  a  distance  to  ski,  and  he  was  too  busy 
to  go  up  there  and  watch. 

Stein:   Did  anyone  else  in  the  family  ski  with  you,  or  would  you  be  going  on 
these  excursions  by  yourself? 

Brien:  Bobby,  my  youngest  brother,  skied.  And  my  brother  Earl  skied.  My 
sister  Dorothy  did,  but  not  Virginia.  Jim,  my  oldest  brother,  did 

Stein:   About  Peanuts:   I  thought  I  read  somewhere  that  Bobby  had  a  stake  in 
him  also. 

Nina  Warren  Brien 

Brien:   No.   Bobby  also  used  to  ride  with  me,  but  his  horse  was  Porky. 

Roland  Rich  Woolley  gave  Porky  to  Bobby.   Bobby  started  riding  and 
enjoyed  it. 

Stein:    Is  Porky  in  any  of  these  pictures?   [Looks  at  Warren  family  Christmas 
card  picturing  family  members  and  pets*]   Yes,  Porky  is  one  of  the 
lead  horses  here. 

Brien:   Yes.   He  was  a  black  Morgan  pony,  a  beautiful  little  pony.   And  Bobby 
taught  him  how  to  jump. 

Stein:  Did  he  also  race  and  enter  horse  shows? 

Brien:  Bobby  did,  yes. 

Stein:  Did  you  often  win? 

Brien:  Yes.   [Laughter] 

Stein:  That's  good. 

Brien:   And  a  lot  of  times  I  didn't  win.   A  lot  of  times  I  lost.   But  there's 
always  second  prize  and  third  and  fourth  and  fifth,  and  in  big  classes 
even  seventh  and  eighth. 

Stein:   Would  you  be  competing  against  other  children  about  your  age?   Is 
that  how  they  worked  it? 

Brien:   No.   Mainly  I  was  always  competing  against  adults. 

Stein:   My  goodnessl   So  that  really  was  quite  a  victory,  then,  when  you  won. 

Brien:   Well,  I  was  riding  very  good  horses.   As  I  say,  I  was  riding  Barbara 
Worth's  best.   So  I  can't  take  credit  for  that. 

Stein:   Well,  maybe  for  part  of  it  you  can't  take  credit,  but  I'm  sure  it's 
a  two-way  street.   I  know  actually  nothing  about  horseback  riding, 
so  if  my  questions  sound  idiotic  about  that,  that's  why. 

Brien:   My  mother  was  so  cute — when  I  was  growing  up  she  decorated  my  room 

with  the  ribbons  I  had  won  in  horse  shows  and  with  pictures  that  had 
been  taken  of  me  jumping  hurdles.  Mother  was  very  artistic  that  way. 
She  had  all  the  pictures  framed  and  had  all  of  my  ribbons  beautifully 
hung,  covering  the  walls  of  my  room.   That  she  took  pride  in  doing. 

*See  James  Warren,  "Recollections  of  the  Eldest  Warren  Son," 
Appendix  A. 

Nina  Warren  Brien 

Brien:   But  I  don't  think  she  really  cared  to  see  me  actually  jump.   I'm 

sure  that  she  was  very  nervous  about  it.   And  I  can  understand  why; 
even  though  I  rode  so  much,  and  I  loved  it,  I  really  worry  frantically 
when  my  children  get  on  a  horse  because  I  know  the  pitfalls,  and  I 
know  how  easy  it  is  to  get  hurt.  There  are  accidents  that  happen  all 
the  time,  and  they  did  at  Barbara  Worth's  as  well.   In  fact,  one  of 
my  closest  friends  at  the  time,  Adrienne  Hale,  was  jumping  a  hurdle 
in  one  of  our  horse  shows — she  fell  off  and  was  unconscious.   She  has 
never  fully  recovered. 

Stein:   How  awful. 

Brien:    So  things  did  happen.   It  was  frightening  for  the  parent  but  not  for 
the  child  participating. 

Stein:    That's  right.   And  anticipating  the  worst  and  sitting  home  with  images 
of  what's  happening  out  there. 

Brien:   But  I  think  we  were  really  involved  in  practically  every  sport.   The 
only  two  sports  that  I  can  recall  not  playing  as  a  youngster  were 
tennis  and  golf.   I  made  up  for  the  tennis  in  the  last  two  years. 

Stein:   You've  just  taken  up  tennis? 

Brien:   Yes.   I  just  took  it  up  two  years  ago,  actually,  right  after  Daddy 
died.   I  had  been  playing  golf  before,  and  I  didn't  find  it  to  be 
too  stimulating.   Then,  after  Daddy  died  I  really  didn't  have  much 
incentive  to  do  anything.   So  then  I  sort  of  pulled  myself  together. 
I  had  talked  to  Daddy  about  my  taking  up  tennis. 

[end  tape  1,  side  1;  begin  tape  1,  side  2] 
Stein:   You  said  that  golf  was  a  little  slow  moving. 

Brien:   Yes,  it  was  for  me.   At  the  time  it  wasn't  the  type  of  activity  I 

needed.   I  really  needed  something  more  strenuous  and  more  physical. 

Once  I  took  up  tennis,  I  simply  fell  in  love  with  it.   Now  I 
play  all  the  time.   It's  good  therapy,  it's  healthy;  it's  fun,  and 
it's  social.  When  you  take  up  a  game  at  my  age,  you  can't  expect  to 
go  to  Wimbleton.   But  you  can  enjoy  it. 

Stein:   But  you  have  such  a  base  in  active  sports  that  I'm  sure  you're  doing 
quite  well. 

Brien:   Well,  it's  very  easy  for  me.   I  don't  find  it  difficult,  but  I  could 

never  be  a  brilliant  player.   There's  no  way.   Unless  one  takes  tennis 
up  when  one  is  eight  years  old  or  so,  there's  no  way  one  can  be  a 
superior  player.   But  I  play  for  enjoyment,  and  it  is  a  lovely  social 
game.   And  it's  very  vigorous,  and  one  can  work  as  hard  as  one  likes 
at  it  and  work  to  your  own  physical  capacity. 

Nina  Warren  Brien 







And  I'll  bet  down  here  in  Southern  California  you  can  play  year  round. 

Year  round.   There's  hardly  a  day  that  one  can't  play.  Maybe  just  a 
few  days  around  Christmastime,  that's  all.   Otherwise,  even  if  it 
rains  in  the  morning  here  you  might  have  an  hour  and  a  half  or  two 
hours  in  the  afternoon  where  one  can  sneak  out  real  fast  and  get 
some  tennis  in. 

Somewhere  in  my  notes  it  also  said  that  you  were  a  cheerleader  in 
high  school.   Is  that  true? 

Yes.   A  cheerleader  for  C.K.  McClatchy. 

How  many  years  were  you  a  cheerleader? 

I  was  a  cheerleader  for  two  years. 

Did  your  family  come  out  to  the  games  to  see  you  cheer? 

Oh  no,  no.   [Laughter]   My  father,  of  course,  always  came  to  see  my 
brothers  play  football  when  he  was  in  town.   Oh,  he  never  missed 
seeing  them  play.   But,  you  know,  it  wasn't  such  a  big  deal  to  be  a 
cheerleader.   I  mean,  it  was  for  the  girl,  for  the  person  who  was 
participating.   But  really,  you  were  doing  it  for  the  team.  Maybe 
today  it  might  be  a  little  bit  different.   It  was  just  a  fun 
activity  at  the  time.   You  were  part  of  the  team  spirit. 

Who  was  Little  Nosey? 

[Referring  to  Warren  family  Christinas  card] 
Was  that  another  horse? 

Little  Nosey  was  Nozama's  colt. 

Oh,  Nozama  had  a  colt. 


How  exciting! 

It  really  was.   I  never  did  much  with  her.  We  gave-  Nozama,  Peanuts, 
and  Porky  away,  and  I  think  we  sold  the  colt. 

You  must  have  been  heartbroken. 

No,  I  wasn't  heartbroken.   I  think  it  was  very  inconsiderate  of  me 
not  to  have  thought  of  it  before  that.  But  what  happened  was  that 
when  I  got  sick,  I  stopped  riding,  of  course.  My  father  put  the 
horses  out  to  pasture.   It's  quite  expensive  to  keep  horses,  you 
know.  Naturally,  I  hadn't  thought  about  that.   It  was  only  in 
retrospect  that  I  thought  about  it. 

Nina  Warren  Brien 

Brien:   My  father  would  never  sell  the  horses  because  he  thought  maybe  I 

would  ride  again,  or  because  they  were  mine  so  he  didn't  want  to  do 
that.  He  was  very  sentimental  and  very  dear  in  those  ways.   I  think 
it  was  terrible  of  me  not  to  have  thought  of  the  expense  that  he  had, 
because  it  was  expensive  to  keep  horses,  even  in  pasture. 

I'm  trying  to  remember  when  exactly  it  was.   I  think  it  was 
after  I  was  sick  and  up  and  moving  around.   I  knew  that  I  wasn't  . 
going  to  go  back  to  horseback  riding,  because  it  was  a  stage  of  my 
life  that  was  over.  And  in  the  meantime  I  was  working  so  hard  trying 
to  catch  up  with  my  class  so  I  could  graduate  from  high  school. 

Finally  my  mother  mentioned  something  to  me  about  the  horses 
were  all  in  pasture  and  wasn't  it  a  shame  that  they  didn't  really 
have  a  home.   So  it  was  at  that  time  that  we  decided  to  give  them 
to  someone  who  would  really  appreciate  them.  My  mother  just  sent  me 
a  letter  about  a  month  ago  from  the  boy  we  gave  Peanuts  to.   It  was 
the  most  touching  letter  you've  ever  read.  Really  darling.  He  wrote 
and  told  how  Peanuts  was  such  a  good  horse  and  he  was  taking  such 
good  care  of  him. 

That's  something  my  father  was  very  careful  to  do,  was  to  place 
him  in  a  good  home  and  to  be  sure  that  all  the  horses  had  good  homes. 
I  don't  know  about  Little  Nosey.   I  think  maybe  Barbara  Worth  might 
have  bought  him,  or  if  not,  she  probably  sold  him  to  someone.   I  had 
no  real  attachment  to  the  little  colt.  We  gave  Nozama  to  someone 
else.  And  Porky  we  gave  to  someone.  All  good  homes.   They  weren't 
given  to  any  stables  where  the  public  would  ride  them.  So  that's 
what  happened  to  my  little  horses. 

Stein:   That's  an  interesting  insight  into  your  father — that  he  would  even 
be  concerned  with  the  placement  of  the  animals. 

Brien:   Oh  yes,  he  was  very,  very  careful  about  that.  He  went  into  quite  a 
bit  of  research.  He  made  certain  that  they  went  to  a  good  home, 
that  they  had  good  surroundings  and  they  wouldn't  be  cooped  up  and 
they  wouldn't  be  mistreated. 

Stein:   That's  interesting.   So  he  almost  asked  for  references. 
Brien:   Oh  yes,  very  definitely.  Daddy  loved  animals. 
Stein:   I  wasn't  aware  of  that. 

Brien:   Yes.  When  he  was  young  he  had  a  burro  in  Bakersfield  called  Jack 

that  he  was  very  attached  to.  He  used  to  ride  him  bareback  without 
a  bridle,  and  all  he'd  have  to  do  was  just  put  his  hand  on  either 
side  of  his  neck  if  he  wanted  him  to  turn  right  or  left,  or  squeeze 
his  flanks,  and  the  little  burro  would  know  exactly  where  to  go. 

Nina  Warren  Brien 

Stein:   Amazing. 

Brien:   Oh,  and  Jack  loved  my  father  just  as  much.   The  little  burro  was  like 
a  human  being.   I  remember  my  father  telling  me  so  many  stories  about 
him  when  I  was  little,  and  I  used  to  sit  and  cry.  He  had  to  get  rid 
of  him,  I  think  when  he  was  about  eighteen,  before  he  went  to  college. 
He  gave  him  to  a  man  who  promised  he  would  take  good  care  of  him.  He 
was  going  to  have  Jack  for  use  on  a  conveyance  to  advertise  Packard 
shoes.  All  he  was  going  to  do  was  to  walk  him  up  and  down  the  streets 
advertising  this  product. 

Apparently,  when  Jack  would  get  near  my  father's  house  he'd 
start  to  whinny  and  bray  and  bray.   Then  sometimes  the  burro  would 
get  loose  from  the  corral  of  the  new  owner  and  he'd  just  make  a 
beeline  over  to  my  father's  house.  He  would  whinny  and  bray  in  front 
of  my  grandmother's  house  until  she  came  out  and  fed  him.   Then  he'd 
continue  to  bray  until  my  father  would  come  home.   So  cute.   I 
remember  all  the  stories.   They  were  so  sad.   I  just  sobbed. 

Family  Pets 

Stein:   I  can  imagine.  You  must  have  had  other  household  pets,  then,  if  he 
was  such  a  great  fan  of  animals. 

Brien:   Yes.  Well,  my  brother  Earl  was  really  the  one  in  charge  of  the  dogs. 
I  mean,  they  were  his  love,  really.  He  was  the  one  that  gave  them 
time  and  attention. 

In  Oakland  we  had  one  dog  called  Brownie,  a  Springer  Spaniel. 
Brownie  lived  longer  than  all  the  other  dogs.   I  think  Brownie  died 
when  she  was  eighteen  or  nineteen.   She  had  gone  blind.  She  had 
arthritis  in  her  legs.   She  hobbled  around  on  three  legs.  And  we 
used  to  get  complaints  at  the  governor's  mansion  that  we  were  cruel 
to  animals  because  we  had  this  dog  in  our  home. 

We  couldn't  part  with  the  dog.  We  couldn't  give  her  up.  We 
kept  having  her  checked  by  the  vet  to  see  if  she  was  in  pain.  The 
vet  said  that  she  was  not  in  pain.   She  was  crippled  in  one  leg  from 
arthritis.   She  was  blind,  which  was  not  painful.  And  she  would  just 
sort  of  hobble  around.  But  we  all  gave  her  so  much  love  and 
affection,  she  wouldn't  have  wanted  to  have  been  put  to  sleep. 
Finally  we  did  have  to  put  her  to  sleep. 

At  the  governor's  mansion  we  always  had  at  least  three  dogs  at 
one  time.  My  brother  Earl  was  the  one  who  really  took  care  of  the 
dogs.   I  can't  take  any  credit  for  that. 

Nina  Warren  Brian 

Stein:   So  he  was  the  one  who  would  walk  them? 

Brien:   And  feed  them  and  train  them.  He  was  wonderful  with  dogs. 

Wonderful.  He  would  take  them  hunting  with  him.  When  my  father 
and  the  boys  would  go  hunting,  they  would  take  the  dogs.  He  did  a 
beautiful  job  with  them,  he  really  did.  Earl  also  had  canaries, 
lovebirds,  parakeets,  goldfish,  and  turtles.   Just  like  my  children. 
They've  had  everything  in  our  household. 

Stein:   And  he  took  care  of  all  of  them? 

Brien:   Yes.   I'm  trying  to  think  of  some  of  the  other  dogs  he  had.  There 
were  Bow,  Spade,  Rocky,  Chris,  Jerry,  Brownie,  and  Sheriff.  My 
brother  Earl  was  fantastic  with  animals. 

He  had  a  green  thumb  and  could  make  anything  grow.   It  was 
amazing.  During  the  war  we  were  living  in  the  mansion,  and  there 
was  an  empty  lot  next  door  to  us.  He  took  a  plot  of  land  about  the 
size  of  this  room,  and  he  planted  vegetables.  He  was  so  meticulous 
in  the  way  that  he  made  that  plot  of  land  look.  He  grew  beefsteak 
tomatoes  that  were  six  inches  across.   They  did  win  a  prize  in  a 
show.  He  had  turnips  that  were  four  inches  across.   I'm  not 
exaggerating.  He  had  carrots  that  were  two  inches  across.   They  were 
so  big  you  couldn't  even  eat  them;  you'd  have  to  chop  them  up.  He 
can  make  anything  grow,  and  they  grow  so  beautifully.  Earl  later 
went  on  to  studying  agriculture. 

Stein:   Is  that  why  he  went  into  agriculture? 

Brien:   Yes,  he  always  loved  it.   Then  he  switched  to  law.  Because  farmers 
were  having  some  real  problems  at  the  time,  he  thought  he'd  see  if 
he  could  do  anything  about  it.   I  guess  the  only  way  he  could  would 
be  to  get  into  law  and  try  to  fight  for  the  farmers  and  build  up 
some  helpful  programs  for  them.   I'm  sure  he  has  all  that  in  his 

Stein:   I  think  that  he  does  talk  about  that  in  his  interview.   So  that 
would  have  been  like  a  victory  garden? 

Brien:   It  was  a  victory  garden.  He  won  several  prizes  at  the  auditorium 
for  his  vegetables. 

Stein:   During  the  war? 
Brien:   Yes. 

Stein:   There  are  a  couple  of  stories  about  your  father  and  some  of  the  pets. 
There  was  a  Dalmatian  named  Jerry.   Do  you  remember  him? 

Nina  Warren  Brian 

Brien:    Yes,  I  do.   He  was  a  magnificent  animal  and  well  trained  by  my 

brother  Earl.   But  he  became  very  attached  to  my  brother,  and  it 
became  somewhat  of  a  problem  because  if  anyone  came  up  the  driveway 
at  the  governor's  mansion  he  would  nip  them.   [Laughter]   It  was  so 
funny,  because  he  would  always  grab  them  under  the  arm  [indicating 
above  the  elbow]  and  rip  out  the  sleeve  of  their  coat.   I  think  it 
happened  to  a  couple  of  Daddy's  secretaries.   I  do  remember  that  he 
nipped  a  couple  of  Daddy's  secretaries  when  they  came  to  the  mansion 
to  drop  things  off.   He  nipped  the  mailman.   And  one  night  my  sister 
Virginia  was  going  to  a  formal  affair  and  he  ripped  the  sleeve  of 
the  tuxedo  her  date  was  wearing.  And  my  mother  had  to  sew  it  up. 

But  no  one  was  ever  hurt  physically.   This  was  his  way  of 
protecting  the  household.   I  could  use  him  now.   [Laughter] 

Stein:    So  what  finally  happened  to  poor  Jerry? 

Brien:    We  had  to  give  Jerry  away.   He  wasn't  too  popular  around  the  old 

Stein:    You  wondered  why  you  weren't  getting  any  visitors. 

Brien:    Yes.  There  was  nothing  we  could  do,  and  we  gave  him  back  to  the 
original  owner.   The  grounds  at  the  mansion  weren't  all  that  big. 
A  dog  could  run  around,  but  they  did  have  to  be  confined  to  a 
fenced-in  area.   They  just  couldn't  run  loose.   So  probably  a  ranch 
is  the  best  place  for  Jerry.   We  hated  to  part  with  him.   He  was 
the  governor's  favorite  dog. 

Stein:    How  about  cats?  Did  you  ever  have  any  cats? 
Brien:    We  never  had  cats  because  my  mother  despises  them. 
Stein:    Why  was  that? 

Brien:    Well,  when  my  mother  was  young,  she  had  a  pet  cat.   I  don't  know 
how  old  she  was  at  the  time,  but  she  was  quite  young.   She  had 
suffered  painful  burns  on  her  face,  hands,  and  arms  which 
necessitated  bandages — only  her  eyes  and  mouth  were  exposed.   She  was 
in  bed,  and  her  pet  cat  climbed  up  on  the  bed  and  lunged  at  her  face, 
and  she  was  helpless  to  defend  herself. 

Stein:    How  terrifying! 

Brien:    So  ever  since  that  experience  she  has  been  terrified  of  cats.  We 

were  never  allowed  to  have  a  cat  in  the  house,  or  outside  the  house 
or  anywhere  around.   Consequently,  none  of  us  are  too  attached  to 
cats,  although  I  will  say,  which  is  really  interesting,  my  brother 
Jim  has  cats,  my  brother  Earl  has  a  cat  (I  think — he  used  to) ,  and 
my  brother  Bobby  has  a  cat. 

Nina  Warren  Brien 

Stein:    That's  interesting.   But  none  of  the  girls  has  cats. 

Brien:    None  of  the  girls  has  cats.   I'm  not  crazy  about  cats.   In  fact,  I 
despise  them.   My  children  love  cats.   They  let  the  cats  kiss  them 
all  over  their  face  and  play  and  scratch  at  them,  and  I  keep  saying, 
"Put  that  cat  down.   Get  that  cat  away  from  me."  It's  funny.  They 
claim  that  parents  instill  fear  this  way,  but  it  certainly  didn't 
affect  my  three  children,  as  I'm  sure  that  they'll  all  three  have 
cats  when  they  marry  and  have  their  own  homes. 

Stein:    I  think  kids  are  drawn  to  anything  that's  warm  and  furry. 
Brien:    Yes,  that's  true. 

Stein:  Was  that  ever  a  social  hazard?  I  was  wondering  that  if  your  mother 
was  that  terrified  of  cats,  if  that  was  a  problem,  if  you  ever  went 
to  visit  anyone  who  had  cats, 

Brien:    No,  it  wasn't  a  problem  because  we  just  asked  them  to  remove  the  cat, 
and  people  were  very  gracious  and  understanding.   The  thing  I  marvel 
at  is  how  my  mother  could  travel,  having  this  fear.   But  she  was  very, 
very  stoic.   She  is  much  more  stoic  than  I  am.   She  could,  I'm  sure, 
endure  the  pain  of  fear  rather  than  inconvenience  or  embarrass  the 
owner  or  in  any  way  make  them  feel  uncomfortable. 

Mother  and  Daddy  traveled  all  over  the  world,  and  in  some 
countries  it  is  a  little  embarrassing  to  say  you  don't  like  cats 
because  they  practically  worship  them  in  some  places.   In  Greece,  I 
don't  know  how  my  mother  ever  stood  it,  because  in  Greece  those 
islands  are  loaded  with  cats.   I  mean,  there  are  thousands  of  cats. 
Mykanos  is  a  small  island  which  is  totally  covered  with  cats.   If 
you  go  into  a  restaurant,  they're  walking  in  and  out,  and  they  come 
by  and  they  brush  your  legs.   They  crawl  up  on  the  potted  plants 
behind  you  in  the  restaurants.   They're  every  place.   I  guess  they 
have  to  have  cats  on  these  islands  because  of  the  rats. 

But  I've  always  marveled  at  how  my  mother  could  endure  that. 
And  yet  she  never  complained  about  having  a  bad  incident.   But  I  know 
she  must  have  lived  in  fear,  because  I  certainly  do  when  I  go  to  some 
places.   I  wouldn't  say  that  any  of  the  members  of  our  family  have 
terrible  phobias  about  it.   It's  just  that  we  dislike  them  and  it  is 
uncomfortable  to  be  around  them;  but  if  we  had  to  force  ourselves  to 
do  so,  I  guess  we  could. 

Stein:    That  means  that  when  they'd  be  up  at  Jim's  ranch  that  Jim  would  shut 
the  cats  up  somewhere? 

Brien:    Always,  yes.   All  three  of  my  brothers  either  take  them  to  their  in- 
laws'  house  or  lock  them  in  the  basement. 

Nina  Warren  Brien 

Brien:   People  were  always  very  nice  about  it,  though.   I  don't  think  people 
take  those  things  personally  once  they  know  the  story,  because  anyone 
can  have  a  bad  experience  with  any  kind  of  an  animal,  leaving  them 
with  a  lasting  impression,  especially  when  it  happens  at  a  young  age. 

Mrs.  Warren  and  the  Governor's  Mansion 

Stein:   Let  me  just  ask  you  a  little  bit  more  about  the  governor's  mansion. 
There  was  a  magazine  story  that  I  brought  with  me,  one  of  the  many 
that  was  written  about  your  family.   [Shows  article  to  Mrs.  Brien] 
This  particular  one  has  a  picture  of  you  taking  a  shower.*  Do  you 
remember  that? 




It  said  that  you  managed  to  get  the  -governor's  bedroom, 
truth  to  that  story? 

Is  there  any 


Yes,  it's  true.   [Looking  at  photo]   Oh,  isn't  that  funny?  Yes,  I 
had  the  governor's  room.   It  was  the  nicest  of  all  the  rooms  in  the 
mansion  because  it  had  a  huge  marble  bathroom,  in  addition  to  the 
big  and  spacious  bedroom.   It  had  a  big  marble  shower  and  it  had  a 
big  old-fashioned  tub  that  stood  on  legs.   It  was  a  tremendous 

The  reason  I  got  that  room  is  because  the  room  faces  H  Street, 
Sixteenth  and  H  Street,  and  that's  a  very  busy  corner  on  account  of 
the  traffic.   When  my  mother  was  looking  over  the  mansion  she 
decided  it  would  be  too  noisy  for  Daddy.   So  she  gave  me  that  room. 
As  I  say,  it  had  the  big  bathroom,  and  it  also  had  a  big  solarium. 
So  I  really  had  the  nicest  room  in  the  entire  mansion.   It  was 

My  sister  Virginia  had  the  governor's  wife's  room.   That  was 
facing,  I  believe,  Sixteenth  Street  and  noisy,  too.  My  sister  Dotty 
had  another  room  which  was  on  the  other  side  of  the  house.   They  were 
all  nice  rooms.   My  father's  room  was  directly  across  from  my  room, 
facing  the  yard.   Are  you  familiar  with  the  mansion? 

No.   I've  never  been  to  see  it. 

*Robert  Coughlan,  "California's  Warren  and  Family,"  Life,  April  24, 
1944,  pp.  lOOff.   Shower  photo  is  on  p.  105. 

Nina  Warren  Brien 

Brien:   Well,  his  room  was  facing  the  yard,  and  that  was  the  quietest  room 

of  all.  My  mother  took  a  room  that  was  in  the  rear  and  made  it  into 
a  study  so  that  she  could  stay  up  late  at  night  taking  care  of  her 
correspondence.   She  did  not  have  a  secretary,  and  her  schedule  was 
really  very  heavy.   So  she  had  privacy  there.   One  brother,  Earl,  had 
a  room  by  the  back  stairway.  My  youngest  brother,  Bob,  had  a  room 
over  the  breakfast  room. 

Stein:   Was  there  another  bedroom  another  floor  up? 

Brien:   Yes.   The  huge  ballroom  was  on  the  third  floor.   This  was  partitioned 
and  made  into  a  big  library  for  my  father,  and  another  bedroom. 
There  was  also  another  large  bedroom  on  this  floor,  a  bathroom,  and 
a  big  attic. 

Stein:   I  understand  your  mother  did  quite  a  job  redecorating  the  mansion. 

Brien:   When  Daddy  became  governor,  the  governor's  mansion  was  in  a 

dilapidated  condition.   You  can't  imagine  how  terrible  it  was.   The 
third  floor  was  boarded  off  in  1943  and  occupied  by  bats.   The  entire 
mansion  had  to  be  completely  renovated.   And  I  think  that  my  mother 
spent  several  months  refurnishing  the  mansion  while  the  construction 
work  went  on.   She  did  such  an  outstanding  job. 

She  is  such  a  perfectionist.   Each  room  had  a  huge  mirror  in  it, 
like  here  above  the  fireplace  [looking  at  Coughlan  article,  p.  105]. 
She  created  the  most  gorgeous  flower  arrangements.   She  always  did 
them  herself.   The  Capitol  Park  gardener  willingly  furnished  all  the 
flowers  she  needed  for  the  mansion  for  any  occasion.   The  five  marble 
mantels  above  the  fireplaces  called  for  huge  fan-shaped  arrangements. 
These  took  a  lot  of  time,  and  only  for  teas,  dinners,  and  special 
occasions  were  these  elaborate  floral  arrangements  made.   Here's  part 
of  one  [looking  at  photograph  in  Coughlan  article,  p.  105]. 

Stein:   That's  beautiful. 

Brien:    The  arrangements  she  made  were  really  extraordinary.   They  were  so 
beautiful.   People  used  to  come  in,  and  they  couldn't  believe  that 
she  had  made  them.   Although  she  is  not  an  artist  as  far  as  painting 
and  sculpturing  goes,  I  really  think  she's  a  fantastically  artistic 
woman . 

Stein:   The  thing  that  I've  read  about  Mrs.  Warren  doing  the  governor's 

mansion  is  how  incredible  it  was  with  the  budget  that  she  was  given 
to  work  with.   There  are  stories  of  her  and  Oscar  Jahnsen  poring 
through  stores  and  antique  stores  and  getting  Oriental  rugs. 

Brien:    I  don't  know  how  they  did  it.   The  shopping  in  many  stores  was  end 
less.   The  beautiful  new  Oriental  rugs  were  purchased  from  W  &  J 
Sloane's  in  San  Francisco,  selected  by  Oscar  Jahnsen  and  my  mother 
at  a  very  reasonable  price. 

Nina  Warren  Brian 

Stein:   That  says  a  lot. 

Brien:    I  think  Virginia  Knight  changed  the  bedrooms  upstairs.   I  think  she 
did  more  decorating  in  the  pastel  shades.   Mother  had  decorated  more 
in  tradition  with  the  era  of  the  mansion.   But  downstairs  she  kept 
the  original  dark  red  velvet  and  purple  draperies.   I  don't  think  it 
could  be  improved  upon. 

Stein:   It  doesn't  look  it.   It  looks  like  real  Victorian  splendor. 
Brien:   I  hope  they're  able  to  preserve  it. 
Stein:    I  think  it's  a  museum  now. 

Brien:   Yes.   I  took  my  children  through  a  few  years  ago  when  it  first 
turned  into  a  museum,  which  was  sort  of  fun. 

Stein:   That  must  have  been  fun  to  say  to  your  kids,  "Well,  here  we  are. 
This  is  my  childhood  home." 

Brien:   Oh,  they  loved  it.   It  is  a  charming  home. 

Stein:   Do  you  remember  much  about  the  Vernon  Street  house? 

Brien:    I  remember  the  physical  appearance  of  it.   That  was  a  magnificent 

home,  too,  big  and  spacious.   It  was  sold  and  used  for  a  club  at  one 
time — and  sold  again.   It  was  a  charming,  lovely  home.   Really  very 
pretty.   But  Oakland  has  changed  an  awful  lot.   It's  so  crowded  now. 
Vernon  Street  isn't  the  way  it  used  to  be.   It's  quite  built  up  now. 

Stein:   Somewhere  I  read  that  one  of  the  traditions  at  Vernon  Street  was 
having  a  whole  bunch  of  Christmas  trees  in  the  basement.   Jim 
described  it  as  a  big  rumpus  room,  and  each  child  had  a  Christmas 
tree  of  his  or  her  own. 

Brien:   Yes.  We  all  had  our  own  Christmas  tree  according  to  our  size. 
Stein:   You  mean  the  tree  would  be  as  big  as  you? 

Brien:   Yes.   And  we  decorated  our  own  tree.   We  always  celebrated  Christmas 
on  Christmas  Eve.  We  had  our  presents  on  Christmas  Eve,  not 
Christmas  morning.   My  father  would  take  the  children  out  to  dinner 
while  my  mother  arranged  the  presents.   It  was  very  traditional. 

Stein:   Would  your  mother  put  your  presents  under  your  tree? 

Brien:   Yes,  each  child  had  their  own  presents  under  their  own  tree. 

Stein:   And  then  you'd  come  back  and  open  them  up? 

Nina  Warren  Brian 

Brien:   Yes.  We'd  sit  in  front  of  our  own  little  tree  and  open  them  up. 
Stein:   That  must  have  been  pandemonium. 

Brien:   Oh,  it  was.   Everybody  running  around,  thanking  everybody,  kissing 
everybody.   It  was  fun.   It  was  a  very  big  occasion.   Then  during 
the  holidays  the  Shriners  Band  would  come  over  one  night ,  and  they 
would  come  in  and  serenade  us  and  entertain  our  family  and  friends. 
It  was  a  fun  time.  We  would  invite  children,  neighbors,  and  friends 
to  share  this  event. 

Stein:   Jim  remembers  your  mother  doing  marathon  cooking  productions  for  the 
Shriners,  turning  out  umpteen  cakes  and  sandwiches. 

Brien:   Yes.   I  don't  know  how  she  ever  did  it,  but  she  did.   As  I  say, 

those  days  I'm  not  too  clear  on.   Jim  would  remember  them  better  than 
I  would.   I  remember  individual  occasions  like  Christmas  and 
birthdays,  but  not  too  much  more. 

Stein:   If  you  moved  away  from  there  when  you  were  eight  or  nine,  you  were 
fairly  young. 

There  is  a  picture,  right  next  to  the  one  of  you  in  the  shower, 
of  Mrs.  Warren  canning.*  Was  that  something  she  did  frequently? 

Brien:  Yes,  I  think  so.   She  really  is  famous  for  her  cakes. 

Stein:  So  I  understand. 

Brien:  She  makes  the  best  cakes  in  the  world.   And  penuche. 

Stein:  What's  that? 

Brien:   Penuche  is  similar  to  fudge  candy,  except  it's  made  with  brown  sugar 
and  walnuts,  and  it's  so  rich  and  so  creamy  and  it's  so  good.   And 
it's  so  fattening.   [Laughter]   Really,  it's  marvelous.   But  she  used 
to  do  all  these  things.   Mother's  an  excellent  cook.   She  used  to  do 
a  great  deal  of  canning  at  the  mansion.   When  people  would  give  us  a 
crate  of  fruit  or  something,  she  would  never  want  to  waste  anything, 
so  she  would  can  it  and  put  it  away.   Make  applesauce  or  whatever. 

Stein:   You  mentioned  earlier  about  the  cook  and  the  housekeeper.   I  had 

wondered  how  your  mother  ever  managed  to  keep  up  a  house  like  that, 
of  that  size. 

*See  Coughlan  article,  p.  105. 

Nina  Warren  Brian 

Brian:   Mother  had  a  very  good  Swedish  cook,  Louise  Broberg,  and  we  had  a 
wonderful  housekeeper  who  was  very  efficient,  Noreen  0* Sullivan. 
Then  we  had  a  janitor  who  came  in  daily  who  did  not  live  on  the 
premises.   He  was  hired  by  the  state  to  do  the  heavy  cleaning.   And 
we  had  a  laundress  who  came  daily  to  do  the  laundry. 

Stein:   That  must  have  been  a  full-time  job  in  and  of  itself. 

Brian:   It  really  was,  because  that  house  is  tremendous  and  there  were  a  lot 

of  people  living  in  it.  With  entertaining  and  everything  else,  it 

was  quite  an  ordeal.   Even  with  help,  Mother  had  an  awful  lot  of 

[end  tape  1,  side  2;  begin  tape  2,  side  1] 

Brien:    People  don't  realize  the  paper  work  Mother  had.   That  was  a  full-time 
job  in  itself.   People  would  write  and  they  wanted  her  to  send  them 
mementos  from  the  mansion;  they  wanted  autographed  pictures;  they 
wanted  a  letter;  they  wanted  something  for  their  charity.   They 
always  wanted  Mother  to  make  cakes  or  penuche  and  things  like  that 
which  they  could  raffle  off  at  their  charities.   It  was  endless  for 
her.   I  don't  know  how  she  did  it.   And  on  top  of  the  children.   And 
she  was  always  with  us  and  doing  everything  for  us.   Daddy  and  the 
children  were  her  first  concern.   But  she  had  all  the  other 
responsibilities  as  well.   She's  really  a  super  being. 

Stein:   Your  brother  Jim  described  that  even  to  this  day  she  insists  on 

squeezing  her  own  orange  juice.   He  said  once  when  he  was  back  in 
Washington  visiting,  he  came  in  after  a  meeting,  really  late  at  night. 
He  found  her  riding  on  an  exercycle  while  watching  the  late  news  on 

Brien:   Yes.   Oh,  my  mother  is  probably  one  of  the  most  remarkable  women 

you'll  ever  meet,  and  in  every  way.   She  always  has  time  and  energy 
to  do  anything  for  anybody.  Nothing  is  ever  too  much,  for  her 
children  and  for  Daddy  and  for  outsiders,  for  anyone.   Everything 
she  does,  she  does  to  perfection.   She  does  it  absolutely  perfectly. 
Yet  she  does  it  so  simply  and  so  easily  that  it's  remarkable.   And 
she  loves  doing  it. 

Her  father  was  a  minister.   She  came  to  America  from  Sweden 
when  she  was  three  months  old.   They  were  a  very  religious  family, 
and  the  Bible  was  read  every  morning  as  she  was  growing  up,  first  in 
Swedish  and  then  in  English.   They  were  always  taught,  all  three  of 
the  girls,  to  be  helpful.   I  mean,  that  was  a  way  of  life  for  them. 
It  wasn't  as  though  they  were  taught;  it  was  just  a  way  of  life. 
They  gave  everything  and  never  asked  for  anything  or  expected 

Nina  Warren  Brian 

Brien:    So  that's  the  way  Mother  is.   She's  always  been  that  way.   I've 

never  heard  her  complain  about  being  too  tired  or  not  wanting  to  go 
out  to  an  affair  or  not  wanting  to  travel  someplace.   It's  really 
remarkable  when  you  think  over  the  years  how  many  times  we_  complain 
about  having  to  do  just  some  very  small  thing. 


Stein:   How  would  she  handle  a  problem  of  disciplining  when  she  was  raising 
you  children? 

Brien:    I've  often  thought  about  that.   I  guess  the  most  important  times  were 
our  earliest  years,  those  first  few  years.   Mother  and  Daddy  must  have 
laid  down  some  kind  of  foundation  that  I'm  not  aware  of,  because  I 
can't  recall  back  that  early  and  yet  I  know  that  I  always  knew  when 
I  was  growing  up  what  was  right  and  what  was  wrong.   I  always  knew 
what  they  would  approve  of  and  what  they  wouldn't  approve  of.   And  I 
think  my  sisters  and  brothers  did  the  same  thing.   I'm  sure  they  knew. 
We  certainly  knew  exactly  what  was  approved  of  and  what  wasn't,  and 
we  tried  to  please  our  parents. 

We  certainly  weren't  perfect,  by  any  means.  But  I  cannot  recall 
my  mother  and  father  having  to  sit  down  and  ever  say  anything  to  us. 
I  think  it  was  because  we  always  tried  to  be  on  our  good  behavior — 
in  front  of  them.   [Laughter]   It's  true.   I  think  they  demanded  a 
certain  amount  of  respect,  so  much  that  we  wouldn't  have  dreamt  of 
doing  anything  other  than  what  they  expected  of  us. 

I've  often  thought  back  trying  to  figure  it  out  myself,  because 
I  would  have  liked  to  have  known  that  secret  in  raising  my  children. 
But  that's  why  I  say  that  I  think  it  must  have  happened  in  the  early 
years,  long  before  I  can  remember. 

I  was  never  spanked  as  a  child.   Never  once.   Corrected,  yes. 
But  never  spanked  or  hit  or  yelled  at,  never  put  down  or  belittled, 
and  never  made  fun  of.   Those  are  things  my  father  and  mother  would 
never  have  permitted.   We  were  never  permitted  to  make  fun  of  anyone 
or  put  anyone  down,  including  each  other.   I  mean,  we  had  to  act 
decently  when  we  were  in  the  house,  even  though  we  were  brothers  and 
sisters.   We  just  wouldn't  dream  of  scrapping,  shouting,  fighting, 
and  carrying  on  like  people  do  today.   But  I  can't  really  tell  you 
what  their  secret  was.   If  I  only  knew!   [Laughter] 

Stein:   How  did  your  father  fit  into  that  discipline  picture? 

Brien:   Daddy  was,  I  would  say,  exactly  the  same.   I  don't  ever  recall  him 

reprimanding  me.   I  don't  know  if  he  did  reprimand  my  brothers  and 

sisters.   Knowing  my  mother  and  father,  they  probably  wouldn't  do  it 
in  front  of  me.   So  I  don't  know. 

Nina  Warren  Brian 

Brien:    I  personally  think  that  they  were  very  easy  going.   Somehow  they 

established  at  a  very  young  age  what  they  expected  of  us,  and  I  don't 
think  they  really  needed  to  use  an  iron-clad  hand  other  than  that. 
They  gave  us  restrictions  and  they  expected  us  to  respect  them. 

I  mean,  we  had  certain  hours  that  we  had  to  be  in  by.   But,  on 
the  other  hand,  if  we  were  late  my  mother  and  father  would  say, 
"Well,  if  you  cannot  be  home  by  your  deadline,  then  at  least  pick  up 
the  phone  and  call  and  tell  us  so  we  don't  worry  about  you."  Neither 
one  of  them  are  rigid  people.   So,  if  we  were  a  half  an  hour  late,  it 
didn't  really  concern  them,  and  if  it  did  it  was  only  because  maybe 
they  thought  something  had  happened  to  us.   But  I  don't  think  they 
would  ever  let  us  know  that  they  worried.   And  they  would  certainly 
never  ever  throw  it  up  to  us.   I  don't  think  anybody  in  the  family 
ever  had  a  spanking  that  I  can  recall. 

The  only  thing  I  can  think  of  that  I  used  to  worry  about,  and  I 
think  that  my  brothers  and  sisters  might  have  too,  was  showing  my 
father  our  report  cards.   [Laughter]  He  handled  this  matter  in  a 
very  nice  way,  but  he  always  would  say,  if  we  got  a  B,  "Well  now, 
darling,  why  didn't  you  get  an  A?  You're  as  smart  as  anybody  else 
in  that  class."  The  only  thing  that  I  don't  think  he  would  have 
stood  for,  and  I  think  he  would  have  been  terribly  disappointed,  if 
we  did  not  get  all  A's  in  citizenship.   That,  we  always  knew,  was 
expected.   But  they  weren't  the  kind  of  parents  that  were  always 
asking,  "What  did  you  get  on  your  math  test?"  or  "What  did  you  get 
on  your  trigonometry  test  today?"  or  "What  happened  in  your  physics 

They  rather  thought,  I  think,  as  I  look  back — and  I'm  just 
comparing  it  to  my  own  children — I  think  they  felt  that  it  was  our 
responsibility  to  handle  our  schooling  and  to  make  the  proper  grade. 
I  don't  think  they  would  have  stood  for  poor  marks  in  citizenship. 
Daddy  probably  would  have  discussed  it  with  us — not  Mother. 


Then  also,  when  we  got  A's  there  wasn't  a  big  celebration,  and 
when  we  got  a  B  there  wasn't  a  big  downer.   It  was,  "Was  there  some 
reason  why  you  couldn't  get  an  A?"   Or  if  we  got  a  C  they  would  say 
that  B's  were  better.   Just  a  very  nice  way  of  making  us  realize 
that  his  expectations  of  us  were  higher.   But  they  never  made  us  feel 
as  though  we  were  inadequate  because  we  didn't  make  straight  A's  all 
the  time. 

Nina  Warren  Brien 


Earl  Warren  at  Home 

Stein:  Did  you  have  any  sort  of  religious  training  as  you  were  growing  up? 

Brien:  Yes.  We  all  went  to  the  Baptist  church  every  Sunday.  My  mother  saw 
that  we  went  regularly. 

Stein:  Was  that  to  Sunday  school  or  to  services? 

Brien:   Sunday  school,  yes.   I  don't  think  I  ever  missed  a  Sunday  when  I 

lived  in  Oakland.  Then  when  we  moved  to  Sacramento,  we  still  went, 
but  I  don't  recall  it  being  such  a  ritual.  Of  course,  by  that  time, 
I  was  eight  or  nine.   I  guess  I  was  getting  older,  time  to  change  and 
slow  down  a  little  bit.   It  is  different,  too,  when  you  start  a  new 
church.  You're  not  into  it  like  you  were  in  the  old' one.  Probably, 
if  we'd  stayed  in  Oakland,  I'd  still  be  going  to  that  same  church 
every  Sunday. 

Stein:   Speaking  of  Sundays,  do  you  remember  the  Sunday  family  outings? 

They've  been  described  in  some  of  the  books,  that  your  father  would 
take  all  the  children  to  the  zoo  or  to  Aunt  Ethel  Plank's  house  to 
give  your  mother  a  day  of  rest  on  Sunday. 

Brien:  Yes.   I  remember  that,  as  you  say,  Daddy  would  take  us  to  the  zoo  or 
to  Aunt  Ethel's.  The  big  treat  for  me,  I  remember,  was  Chinatown. 
I  think  I  can  remember  every  time  Daddy  took  me  to  Chinatown.  That 
was  always  such  fun  because  I  could  look  at  all  the  beautiful  things. 
He'd  always  wander  around  with  me,  and  we'd  look  at  everything.  There 
were  some  things  that  were  so  lovely.  I'll  never  forget,  there  was  a 
fan  that  I  adored.   I  loved  this  fan  so  much.  It  was  unbelievable. 
It  was  this  big  [indicates  size]. 

Stein:  A  big  ceremonial  fan. 

Brien:  Yes.  And  I  remember  my  father  giving  it  to  me  one  year  for  Christmas. 
I  had  admired  it  and  loved  it  for  ages,  maybe  a  couple  of  years. 

Nina  Warren  Brien 

Stein:   My  goodness!   And  it  hadn't  sold?   It  had  just  stayed  in  that  store? 

Brien:    I  guess  so.   It  was  the  prettiest  thing  you've  ever  seen.   An 

amazing  incident  happened  to  me  on  my  last  birthday.   My  daughter 
bought  me  a  fan  that  was  a  miniature  of  it.   I  have  it  upstairs. 
I'll  have  to  show  it  to  you  before  you  leave. 

I'd  love  to  see  it.  Had  she  known  about  the  big  fan? 

No,  she  knew  nothing. 

That's  amazing!   This  is  Oakland's  Chinatown,  I  take  it? 

No,  San  Francisco. 

Oh,  San  Francisco.  He'd  bring  you  across  the  bay. 

If  we  didn't  go  to  the  zoo,  we  would  generally  go  to  Chinatown  in 
San  Francisco.   We  would  eat  at  the  same  restaurant  every  Sunday. 

Which  one  was  that? 

Four  Seas. 

I  think  it's  still  there. 

It's  still  there.   It's  very  fancy  now,  but  in  those  days  it  was 
very  plain.  They  had  a  downstairs  and  an  upstairs.  We  sat  upstairs. 
It  had  little  curtains  on  the  booths. 

You  must  have  loved  that. 

Oh!  Loved  it.   [Laughter]   It  was  such  fun. 

Nothing  can  be  more  romantic  than  those  little  booths  with  the 

We'd  have  a  big  dinner  there  and  come  home  and  would  usually  find 

Mother  in  the  kitchen  eating  her  toast  and  jam  and  cheese.   Then 

we'd  all  sit  down  and  want  to  eat  some  more — of  her  dinner.   [Laughter] 

Let  me  just  ask  you  a  couple  of  other  questions.   You  may  not 
remember  from  Oakland  or  even  at  the  governor's  mansion  if  he  ever 
brought  work  home.  Were  you  ever  aware  of  problems  at  work  or 
anything  that  he  was  doing? 

Brien:   No,  Daddy  never  brought  work  home  when  he  was  governor.   I  don't 

ever  recall  him  bringing  work  home.   He  was  very  careful  in  that  he 
never  wanted  his  work  to  interfere  with  his  family,  and  he  never 
discussed  any  of  the  problems  that  he  was  working  on  when  he  would 











Nina  Warren  Brien 

come  home.   We'd  always  have  dinner  together,  the  whole  family. 
He  would  talk  to  us  about  what  happened  in  our  day,  what  we  had  done 
that  day,  rather  than  what  he  had  done.   And  don't  forget,  there 
were  six  of  us  at  the  table,  counting  my  mother.   So  there  were  five 
kids — Jim  wasn't  there,  he  was  married  at  the  time — so  there  was 
quite  a  bit  of  rhetoric  going  on  at  our  dinner  table. 

He  couldn't  get  a  word  in  edgewise. 

Right.   [Laughter]   I  know,  too,  that  never  once  that  I  can  ever 
remember — even  when  he  became  Chief  Justice  and  all  the  children 
were  away — he  never  got  up  from  the  dinner  table  to  talk  on  the 
phone.  Nothing  was  ever  that  important  that  it  couldn't  wait  until 
he  was  through  with  dinner  with  the  family.   That  was  something  I 
think  he  felt  very  strongly  about.   We  didn't  get  that  many  calls 
at  the  mansion  about  business.   Our  phone  number  was  always  in  the 
telephone  book,  but  no  one  bothered  to  look  it  up  because  they 
thought  the  governor  would  not  have  his  phone  number  listed  in  the 
directory.   But  here  it  was,  Earl  Warren,  1526  H  Street,  and  the 
telephone  number.   It  was  really  amusing. 

That's  really  interesting.   Did  he  used  to  read  a  lot  at  home? 

Yes.  When  he  became  Chief  Justice  his  "homework"  was  endless — 
always  a  briefcase  full  of  work  every  night — but  not  when  governor. 

What  sort  of  things  would  he  read? 

Oh,  he  read  all  sorts  of  things.   I  can't  tell  you  exactly  what  they 
were,  but  I  know  sometimes  he  would  have  three  or  four  books  going 
at  one  time. 

Would  these  be  mostly  nonfiction  or  fiction?   Did  you  have  any  idea? 

I  think  they'd  be  nonfiction.   He  loved  history.   He  loved  reading 
about  history.   And  he  loved  reading  about  people.   Actually,  he  was 
interested  in  everything.   But  I  don't  think  I  would  say  that  he  was 
into  fiction.   Mother  would  know  more  about  that  than  I  would.   He 
read  so  much.   Wonderful  source  of  relaxation  for  him. 

Was  that  something  that  he  encouraged  the  rest  of  the  family  to  do 

Brien:    I  don't  know.   I  don't  think  so.   I  don't  think  he  pushed  reading  on 
any  of  us.   We're  a  pretty  active  family.   I  don't  think  we  would 
have  had  that  much  time  for  our  activities,  our  studies,  and  a  large 
amount  of  reading.   My  sister  Virginia  has  always  been  a  big  reader. 
I  don't  know  about  the  boys. 


I  know  Jim  said  that  he  wasn't  too  much  of  a  reader. 

Nina  Warren  Brien 

Brien:   No,  he's  not. 

Stein:   He  always  did  so  much  of  it  in  school. 

Brien:   I'm  always  razzing  him.  His  wife,  Maggie,  loves  to  read,  and  I'm 

always  reading  and  telling  her  all  the  great  books  that  I  have  read, 
and  we  exchange  notes.   Every  time  I  see  her,  I  say,  "Well,  Maggie, 
what  did  you  read  this  month?"  So  we're  always  telling  each  other 
about  good  books.   But  last  time  we  were  in  Washington  I  had  bought 
a  book  that  I  was  really  interested  in.   It's  The  Inner  Game  of  Tennis.* 

Stein:   That's  a  wonderful  book.   She'd  be  fascinated  by  that,  wouldn't  she? 
She  used  to  be  a  tennis  star. 

Brien:   Yes.   Jim  said,  "What's  this  book  that  you're  reading?"  I  said, 
"This  is  The  Inner  Game  of  Tennis,  and  it's  the  third  time  I'm 
reading  it.   It's  a  great  book."  He  said,  "Oh,  you  and  Maggie! 
She's  read  this  book,  too.  You  have  read  it  three  times,  Honeybear?" 
I  said,  "Yes,  it's  fabulous.   I  underlined  it  the  second  time  and  now 
I'm  going  back  and  I'm  going  to  review  the  whole  thing."  And  he  said, 
"I've  got  to  read  this."  During  our  stay  there,  he  did.  He  read 
that  entire  book.   I  was  absolutely  amazed  because  he  doesn't  read  at 
all.   I  wish  I  had  more  time  to  read.   When  we  go  on  vacation  that's 
when  I  can  really  catch  up  with  it  all. 

Political  Campaigns 

Stein:  I'd  like  to  get  your  recollections  of  the  political  campaigns.  I 
remember  reading  that  the  three  girls  often  went  campaigning  with 
the  governor. 

Brien:   I  think  probably  the  most  fun  trips  we  had  were  when  we  went  to  the 
conventions.   They  were  really  the  most  fun  times.   It  was  like  one 
big  party.   There  was  something  doing  every  second  of  the  day,  and 
the  evenings  were  full  of  parties.  Every  headquarters  would  have 
their  own  little  parties  going  on.   People  would  splinter  off  and 
have  small  parties.   It  was  all  very  exciting,  and  everybody  was  in 
an  upbeat  mood — before  the  candidates  were  selected.   It  was  lots  of 

As  far  as  the  campaigns,  it  was  always  fun  going  with  Daddy  and 
meeting  people  and  being  with  people.   People  were  always  so  nice. 
I  cannot  remember  ever  having  one  bad  incident  happen.   People  were 

*by  Tim  Galloway. 

Nina  Warren  Brian 




so  sweet  and  lovely,  probably  because  they  all  loved  Daddy  so  much. 
He  was  governor  for  so  many  years,  and  I  think  that  the  people  of 
California  thought  of  him  as  part  of  their  family.  They  didn1 t 
really  feel  as  though  he  was  a  political  figure.   They  weren't 
afraid  to  come  up  and  talk  to  him  and  say  whatever  they  had  on  their 
minds.   Daddy  just  loved  everybody.   He  just  loved  people.   They 
must  have  felt  as  though  they  knew  him  just  as  well  as  anyone  else 
because  he  was  so  warm  and  genuine.   He  really  did  care.   He  wasn't 
campaigning  and  running  around  so  much  looking  for  votes  as  doing 
something  that  he  really  loved  to  do.   He  just  loved  being  with 
people.   I  think  people  sense  that.   They  feel  it  when  you're  that 

[end  tape  2,  side  1;  begin  tape  2,  side  2] 

I  think  it  was  during  the  1948  campaign  when  he  rode  on  a  campaign 
train  through  the  West,  and  Helen  MacGregor  helped  organize  a 
wedding  anniversary  for  him  and  brought  all  the  children  up  to  meet 
the  train  in  Oregon  somewhere.   Do  you  remember  that? 

Yes,  it  was  a  wonderful  party. 
That  was  in  1948. 

I  remember  being  on  the  train. 

Stein:   And  there  was  another  train  in  1952.  Maybe  you  were  already  on  the 

train  in  1948,  so  you  wouldn't  have  remembered  Miss  MacGregor' s  plan. 

Brien:    I  was  not  on  the  train  in  1952.  •  Virginia  was.   Every  year  we  went  to 
the  governors'  conference  in  the  summertime.   It  would  be  in  a 
different  state  every  year.  We  went  by  train  to  that  conference. 
Then,  from  there  Daddy  took  the  three  girls  and  Mother  to  New  York, 
and  there  we  would  go  to  shows  and  spend  a  couple  of  weeks  doing  our 
shopping  for  the  year. 


Stein:   How  exciting! 

Brien:    It  was  really  fun.   So  that  was  a  pattern  that  we  did  every  single 
summer.    In  those  days  I  think  the  governors'  conferences  were 
held  in  June,  the  last  part  of  June.   They've  switched  the  dates  now. 
Now  they're  later,  I  think. 

Stein:    I  don't  know.   But  I  know  then  that  they  were  shortly  before  the 
political  conventions. 

Brien:   Then  there  was  the  train  when  Daddy  was  running  for  president.   That 
went  straight  from  Sacramento  to  Chicago. 

Stein:   That  was  in  1952. 

A  great  deal  has  been  written  about  what  an  asset  the  family 
was  to  the  governor.   People  said  you  could  beat  him  but  you  could 
never  beat  his  family,  and  there  were  all  those  beautiful  pictures 
of  him  with  all  of  the  children  next  to  him. 

Nina  Warren  Brien 

Brien:   We  were  there  for  the  fun  of  it.   Of  course,  I'm  sure  Daddy  and 

Mother  wanted  the  family  together.   So  we  were  all  there.   But  we 
were  actually  just  an  extension  of  Daddy.  We  weren't  there  to  do 
anything.   We  didn't  have  any  duties  or  obligations.   We  just  went 
and  had  fun  and  met  the  people  with  Daddy  and  went  when  we  were 
invited  to  places. 

Stein:   There  was  one  convention,  in  1948  I  think,  when  Warren  had  been 
nominated  for  vice-president.   The  whole  family  went  up  onto  the 
platform.   Do  you  remember  that? 

Brien:   Yes.  That  was  a  fun  time.   But  all  the  conventions  were  fun.   I 

guess  that  one  in  particular  was,  because  we  were  all  older.  We  had 
made  friends  with  people  over  the  years:   all  the  governors  and  their 
families,  Senators  and  congressmen  and  people  like  that.   It  was  sort 
of  like  old  home  week  every  year  where  everyone  sat  together  and  had 
a  good  time. 

I'll  never  forget  one  sad  incident  that  happened.   The  day  after 
Dewey  was  nominated,  Mother  and  I  went  with  Daddy  and  Dorothy  to 
[Robert]  Taft's  apartment  across  the  street  at  the  Blackstone  Hotel.* 
It  was  a  sad  occasion,  but  my  father  wanted  to  go  over  and  say  good 
bye  to  Taft.  He  was  such  a  defeated  man.   It  was  like  his  last 
chance,  and  his  wife  was  so  ill.   Just  to  see  the  Taft  stickers  on 
the  floor  and  the  remnants  of  the  night  before  was  really 
heartbreaking.   But  other  than  that,  I  think  all  of  the  occasions 
were  really  fun. 

The  Polio  Attack 

Stein:    I  wondered  if  there  was  anything  more  that  we  need  to  say  about  your 
getting  polio.   It's  been  written  about.   [John]  Weaver  describes 
when  you  first  got  sick.**  I  don't  know  if  you  remember  that.   It 
was  election  day. 

Brien:   Yes. 

Stein:   The  governor  and  Mrs.  Warren  rushed  to  the  hospital.   The  governor 

was  really  upset,  and  you  said  to  your  mother,  "Please  take  him  home 
and  make  him  rest." 

*Taft  had  been  defeated  for  Republican  presidential  nominee. 
**John  Weaver,  Warren;  The  Man,  The  Court,  The  Era  (Boston,  1967), 
pp.  162-164. 

Nina  Warren  Brian 

Brian:   Actually,  I  don't  think  it  happened  quite  that  way. 

Stein:    That's  why  I'm  asking  you  these  questions.   These  stories  get 

romanticized  in  books,  and  you  never  know  what  the  real  story  is. 

Brian:    I  had  been  sick  for  several  days,  and  the  doctor  kept  saying  that  I 
had  a  virus,  the  flu,  and  not  to  worry.   Then,  as  time  went  on  it 
became  more  and  more  difficult  for  me  to  get  up  and  move  around. 

The  last  few  nights  before  the  election,  my  mother  moved  into 
my  room  with  me  because  I  was  so  sick.  My  mother  was  worried.   She 
couldn't  understand  what  was  happening.   Neither  could  I.   Here  I 
was  walking  around  in  the  middle  of  the  night  unable  to  sleep.   She 
stayed  in  my  room  with  me. 

The  night  before  the  election,  my  mother  went  to  meet  my  father 
in  Oakland  to  vote,  because  that's  where  they  were  registered.   She 
left,  as  the  doctor  told  her  that  I  was  better. 

The  next  morning  my  brother  Earl  came  in  and  asked  me  how  I  was 
feeling  and  I  said  I  was  okay  or  was  sick  or  something.   Then  he 
said,  "I  want  to  look  at  your  legs."  So  he  looked  at  my  legs,  on 
which  I  had  used  a  heating  pad,  and  the  heat  had  burned  my  legs  and 
I  hadn't  even  felt  it.   So  when  he  saw  my  legs  were  burned,  he  was 
worried  and  said,  "I'm  going  out  for  a  second,"  and  he  went  out  and 
called  the  doctor. 

The  doctor  came  over.   A  few  specialists  had  seen  me  previously, 
but  no  one  knew  what  was  wrong.   After  my  brother's  call,  several 
doctors  came.   They  gave  me  a  spinal  tap  and  immediately  notified  my 
mother  and  father  in  Oakland.   They  came  home  as  quickly  as  they 
could.   By  the  time  they  got  home,  the  entire  upstairs  hallway,  which 
is  really  pretty  big,  was  filled  with  doctors.   I  remember  they  said 
they  had  to  take  me  to  the  hospital,  and  I  can  recall  seeing  my 
father  in  the  hall.   He  was  really  broken  up.   It  was  the  first  time 
that  I'd  ever  seen  my  father  so  sad.   So  I  think  it  was  probably  at 
that  time  that  I  told  my  mother  to  take  care  of  Daddy. 

They  had  to  put  me  in  isolation  and  closed  off  an  entire  wing 
of  the  hospital  for  me.  County  [hospital]  was  totally  full.  They 
really  weren't  sure  what  I  had  at  that  point,  but  I  guess  they  had 
decided  it  was  polio  or  spinal  meningitis. 

Stein:    So  then  what  happened? 


Brien:   Then  I  went  to  the  hospital.   I  was  in  isolation  for  quite  some 

time;  I've  forgotten  exactly  how  long.   I  stayed  in  the  hospital  for 
seven  weeks,  and  then  I  came  home  to  the  mansion  and  recuperated 
there.   My  poor  mother  worked  so  hard  with  me.   I  would  sleep  during 
the  day  and  be  awake  all  night.   It  was  terrible.   But  she  would  stay 
up  all  night  with  me  preparing  hot  packs,  etc. 

Nina  Warren  Brian 









Then  she'd  be  up  all  day? 

She'd  be  up  all  day,  and  maybe  she  would  sleep  for  about  an  hour  a 
day  or  something  like  that.   But  there  were  so  many  things  to  do  and 
she  was  kept  busy  all  the  time,  bringing  me  food  and  trying  to  get 
me  to  eat  and  doing  all  sorts  of  lovely  things  for  me.   She's 
really  a  remarkable  person. 

That's  incredible.   Somebody  described  when  you  were  first  brought 
home  from  the  hospital  that  they  hung  all  of  your  get-well  cards 
up  all  over  the  room. 

Oh  yes.   That  was  my  mother's  idea.   They  strung  them  on  Scotch  tape 
and  hung  them  all  over  the  room.   Oh,  there  were  thousands  of  them, 
thousands  of  them!   It  was  unbelievable.  People  were  so  wonderful 
to  me. 

This,  I  guess,  made  national  news  at  the  time,  or  at  least  California 

Oh  yes.   It  was  national.   Well,  it  was  all  over  the  world.   The 
literature  and  the  information  and  the  cards  and  the  get-well  notes 
from  Europe — in  fact,  from  every  place  in  the  world.   It  was 
unbelievable  to  see  how  thoughtful  people  were  and  how  wonderful 
they  were  to  take  the  time  to  think  of  me.   And  they  didn't  stop 
then.   The  correspondence  kept  coming  in  for  months.   Some  people 
just  kept  writing  regularly  for  a  couple  of  years. 

That's  amazing. 


It  really  was. 

Did  you,  or  did  anybody,  asnwer  any  of  them? 

Every  letter  that  was  written  received  a  thank  you  note.   I  couldn't 
do  it  personally  because  I  wasn't  in  any  shape  for  a  long  time. 
Daddy's  secretaries  did  it  and  Mother  worked  with  them.   It  was  a 
big  job. 

And  then  did  you  have  physical  therapists  who  would  come  to  the 
house  and  work  with  you? 

Yes.   I  had  a  physical  therapist  who  would  come  twice  a  day.   He'd 
come  in  the  morning  and  again  in  the  afternoon.   I  had  a  hospital 
bedj  and  they  had  all  of  the  exercising  apparatus  built  up  around 
the  bed. 

Stein:   That  was  a  really  heroic  struggle. 

Nina  Warren  Brien 

Brien:   Well,  I  was  very  fortunate  that  I  overcame  this  terrible  disease. 
It's  so  sad  now  when  you  see  the  few  cases  of  polio  that  have  been 
contracted  recently  by  people  who  have  overlooked  getting  their  shot 
or  their  vaccine.   It's  such  a  dreadful  disease. 

Marriage  and  Family 

Stein:   We  left  you,  education-  and  career-wise,  going  to  UCLA  after  you'd 
been  in  Hawaii  and  Washington.   Then  what  happened?   Did  you  finish 
up  at  UCLA? 

Brien:   No.   I  went  to  UCLA  for  two  years,  and  then  I  met  my  husband  and  we 
got  married. 

Stein:   Was  he  also  a  student  at  UCLA? 

Brien:   No.   He  was  a  practicing  doctor  in  Beverly  Hills.   He's  an 

obstetrician  and  gynecologist.   That  was  the  end  of  my  education. 
My  formal  education,  let's  put  it  that  way. 

Stein:    Schooling. 
Brien:    Schooling. 

Stein:    Is  there  any  great  romantic  story  attached  to  your  meeting  Dr.  Brien 
that  should  go  on  the  record? 

Brien:   Oh,  I  don't  think  so.   What  happened  was  I  was  going  to  UCLA  and  it 
was  summertime  and  I  wanted  to  get  a  job.   A  friend  of  mine  got  me 
a  job  as  a  receptionist  with  a  doctor,  Dr.  Brien.   And  that  is  how 
I  met  him. 

Stein:   And,  as  they  say,  one  thing  led  to  another. 
Brien:   One  thing  led  to  another.   [Laughter] 

Stein:   That's  a  nice  story.   Had  you  gotten  to  the  point  of  majoring  in 
anything  at  UCLA? 

Brien:   I  was  majoring  in  psychology — for  lack  of  anything  else. 

Stein:    So  you  didn't  have  any  idea  in  mind  of  something  that  you  wanted  to 

Brien:   No,  I  had  no  idea. 

Nina  Warren  Brien 

Stein:   Were  you  living  in  the  dorms? 

Brien:   No,  I  was  living  in  a  sorority  house,  the  Kappa  Alpha  Theta  sorority 

Stein:   You  had  a  family  at  some  point;  I  saw  their  pictures. 

Brien:   Yes.  Two  years  later  we  had  our  first  son,  Willie,  who  is  now 

nineteen.   The  following  year  we  had  Heather,  who  is  now  eighteen. 
And  the  following  year  we  had  Earl,  who  is  now  seventeen. 

Stein:  Let  me  see  if  I  can  find  them  in  this  photo.*  Is  this  Willie? 

Brien:  That's  Willie. 

Stein:  And  that's  Heather. 

Brien:  And  that's  Earl.   They're  all  very  busy  people  at  the  moment. 

Stein:  Are  they  all  in  school? 

Brien:   Willie  will  start  his  third  year  of  pre-med  at  USC  [University  of 
Southern  California]  this  September.   This  summer  he's  working  at 
Cedar  Sinai  [Hospital]  cardiology  laboratory,  and  he  really  loves  it. 
He's  having  a  ball  over  there.   And  Heather  will  be  going  to 
Immaculate  Heart  College  in  September  here  in  Hollywood.   She's 
been  working  in  my  husband's  office  as  his  receptionist,  carrying  on 
in  my  footsteps.   [Laughter]   And  Earl  is  a  senior  at  the  high 
school.   He's  not  certain  where  he's  going  to  go  to  college.   He'd 
like  to  go  to  Brown  or  Yale,  or  UC  in  Berkeley. 

Stein:   The  only  other  thing  I  was  wondering:   Dr.  Brien  is  Jewish,  right? 
Brien:   Yes. 

Stein:    I  wondered  if  there  was  any  family  discussion  about  an  inter-faith 

Brien:   No,  none  at  all. 

Stein:   They're  really  sweet-looking  children. 

Brien:   Oh,  that's  a  horrible  picture  of  them. 

Stein:    In  the  whole  huge  family,  every  one  is  cuter  and  prettier  than  the 

Brien:   We  always  have  wonderful  Christmases  together  with  the  family 

*See  James  Warren  interview  (this  volume),  photo  insert. 

Nina  Warren  Brien 

Stein:    I've  read  clippings,  and  Jim  told  me  a  little  bit,  about  the  Chief 
Justice  playing  Santa  Glaus  at  these  great  Christmas  gatherings. 

Brien:   Oh  yes.   They  always  did  center  around  Daddy. 


Stein:   The  only  other  question  that  I  need  to  ask — which  I  should  have 

asked  at  the  beginning,  of  course — is  the  story  of  how  you  got  your 

Brien:    Before  I  was  born,  my  father  took  my  two  brothers  and  my  two  sisters 
to  the  zoo  every  Sunday,  and  their  favorite  animal  was  the  honey  bear. 
When  I  was  born  and  they  brought  me  home  from  the  hospital  the 
children  said,  "Oh,  doesn't  she  look  just  like  our  little  honey  bear 
in  the  zoo."  That's  the  story  I  heard.   [Laughter]   And  that's  how 
it  came  about,  and  I've  never  lost  the  name.   The  family  has  always 
called  me  Honeybear,  and  everybody  else  does  too.   At  my  age I 
[Laughter]   I'll  probably  never  lose  it. 

Stein:    Children  usually  take  a  little  while  to  develop  a  nickname.   But  you 
had  one  the  minute  you  arrived. 

Brien:   We  all  had  nicknames.  We  were  a  very  big  family  on  nicknames. 
Stein:   What  were  the  other  ones'  nicknames? 

Brien:   Jim,  I  guess  we  called  him  Jimbo.   Virginia  was  Ginny  and  Virg  and 
lya  and  a  couple  of  others  I  can't  think  of.   We  always  called  Earl 
Ju  Ju. 

Stein:   From  "junior"? 

Brien:   Yes.   Virginia  named  him  that.   She  couldn't  say  Junior.   I  still 
call  him  Ju  Ju.   Everybody  else  calls  him  Earl,  and  I'm  trying  to 
break  myself  of  the  habit.   I  am  trying,  Mimi,  so  hard  not  to  call 
him  Ju  Ju,  but  it's  hard. 

Stein:   Of  course. 

Brien:  Dotty  was  Polka  Dot,  Put  Put,  and  Punk.  She  had  a  lot  of  nicknames 
too.  Myself,  I  just  had  Honeybear.  Bobby  was  Bobby  until  he  was  a 
senior  in  high  school,  and  then  we  were  told  to  call  him  Bob.  I  am 
still  the  only  one  that  calls  him  Bobby,  and  I  always  will.  And  he 
has  to  get  used  to  that  fact.  [Laughter] 

Stein:   A  sister's  prerogative. 

Nina  Warren  Brian 

Brien:   That's  my  prerogative,  right.   Whether  he  likes  it  or  not,  he's 
going  to  be  Bobby.   He's  my  baby  brother.   I  have  to  show  some 
power  over  him. 

Stein:   That's  right.   [Laughter]   You're  the  next  one  up  the  ladder. 
Brien:   Yes. 

Stein:   Well,  that's  about  all  the  questions  I  have.  You've  been  very  kind 
to  give  up  your  afternoon  for  this.   This  will  be  a  valuable 
addition  to  our  volume  on  the  Warren  family. 

Transcriber:   Marilyn  Ham 
Final  Typist:   Lee  Steinback 

Nina  Warren  Brian 

INDEX  —  Nina  Warren  Brien 

Brien,  Nina  Warren: 

college  years,   1-2,  32 

grade  school  and  high  school  years,  1-5,  11,  23 

living  in  the  governor's  mansion,   1,  4,  17-18 

marriage  and  family,   25,  32-33 

music  interests,   3 

poliomyelitis  attack,   1-2,  11,  29-32 

sports  activities,   2-12 

the  Vernon  Street  house,   19 

Hamlin,  Oliver  D. ,   5 
Jahnsen,  Oscar,   18 

MacGregor,  Helen,   28 
Patterson,  Pat,   4 
Taft,  Robert,   29 

Warren,  Earl: 

childhood  in  Bakers field,   12-13 

family  life,   2,  4-6,  8,  11-12,  14,  17-19,  22,  29,  34 

recreational  reading,   26 

relationship  with  Taft ,   29 
Warren  family: 

children,  1  passim 

pets,  5-6,  8-9,  11-15 

political  campaigns,   27-29 

religious  training,   24 

sports  activities,   2-12 
Warren,  Nina  [Mrs.  Earl],   15-16,  21-22 

and  the  governor's  mansion,   17-21 

family  life,   2,  6,  8-10,  19-20,  22,  29-31 
Woolley,  Roland  Rich,   9 

Regional  Oral  History  Office  University  of  California 

The  Bancroft  Library  Berkeley,  California 

Earl  Warren  Oral  History  Project 

Robert  Warren 

An  Interview  Conducted  by 

Amelia  Fry 

in  1971 

Copyright    (c)   1980  by  The  Regents  of  The  University  of  California 

Earl  Warren  and  Robert  Warren 
ca.  1950 

TABLE  OF  CONTENTS  —  Robert  Warren 


The  Family  Home  1 
Christmas,  Outings,  and  Sports  3 
Earl  Warren  as  a  Father  8 

Life  in  the  Governor's  Mansion  10 
Religious  Exposure  12 
Play  and  Sports  13 
School  Days  16 
Father's  Campaigns  17 

College  Years  22 
Hunting  and  Fishing  Together  24 
Father's  Guidance  28 
Other  Influences  30 

IV  LATER  EVENTS:   1958-1971  32 
Father's  and  Son's  Work  in  Corrections  32 
Changing  Political  Tides  34 
The  Supreme  Court  Years:   President  Kennedy  37 
Earl  Warren  as  Grandfather  39 

INDEX  42 


DATE  OF  INTERVIEW:   Thursday  morning,  January  28,  1971. 

PLACE  OF  INTERVIEW:   The  living  room  of  the  Robert  Warrens'  in  Davis,  California, 

THOSE  PRESENT:   Robert  Warren  and  interviewers  Amelia  R.  Fry  and  Professor 
Mortimer  D.  Schwartz. 

When  Robert  Warren  was  born  in  Oakland,  California,  in  1935,  his  father, 
the  district  attorney  of  Alameda  County,  was  already  recognized  as  an  up  and 
coming  leader  of  both  the  state  law  enforcement  community  and  the  Republican 
party.   Robert's  position  in  the  family  (next  to  youngest  of  the  six  children) 
enables  him  to  talk  about  home  life  after  Earl  Warren  was  well  established  as 
a  very  busy  and  very  public  figure.   I  had  been  told  that  of  all  the  Warren 
offspring,  Robert  was  "the  most  political,"  presumably  outranking  Earl,  Jr., 
(who  had  headed  Republicans  for  "Pat"  Brown  statewide  in  1960)  because  the 
latter  had  long  been  neutralized  by  an  appointment  as  a  municipal  judge  in 
Sacramento.   At  the  time  of  the  interview  Robert  was  serving  on  the  local  land 
planning  commission,  a  significant  position  in  a  city  were  rapid  growth  was 
mushrooming  the  housing  market. 

In  this  interview  he  describes  the  Warren  family  in  Oakland  at  88  Vernon 
Street  and  in  the  Governor's  Mansion  in  Sacramento  with  glimpses  of  school, 
family  outings,  sports,  and  a  few  of  the  political  tides  of  which  Robert  the 
boy  and  the  youth  was  aware.   Today  the  tall,  brown-haired  man  has  a  natural 
friendliness  and  frankness  that  leads  one  quickly  to  use  the  name  "Bob."   (Long 
time  friends  and  family  refer  to  him  as  "Bobby"  in  other  interviews.)   He  rose 
to  the  challenge  of  a  lopsided  condition:   two  interviewers — myself  and  Univer 
sity  of  California  -Davis  law  professor  and  librarian,  Mort  Schwartz,  who  was 
using  this  interview  as  a  sort  of  dry  run  for  his  own  upcoming  (and  unfamiliar) 
role  as  oral  historian  with  former  corrections  chief  Richard  McGee. 

However,  anyone  put  in  the  position  of  answering  the  question  of  one 
interviewer  while  the  other  listens  in  does  not  enjoy  the  added  comfort  and 
simplified  rapport  of  a  one-to-one  informal  conversation.   That  may  have  been 
the  reason,  when  Bob  reviewed  the  first  section  of  the  rough-edited  transcript, 
he  telephoned  our  office  to  say  that  he  wanted  a  chance  to  make  his  answers 
reflect  more  accurately  what  he  was  thinking.   "Some  [responses]  don't  seem 
to  be  answering  the  questions  at  all,"  he  said.   We  agreed  to  a  plan  whereby 
he  would  write  what  more  specifically  reflected  what  he  meant.   This  he  did, 
in  spite  of  very  busy  days  with  his  real  estate  business,  and  he  had  the  tran 
script  ready  to  hand  to  this  interviewer  in  two  weeks.   The  result  is  a  much 
richer,  expanded  version  in  the  final  copy. 


This  was  the  second  copy  of  the  transcript  that  he  worked  on.   Unknown 
to  either  of  us,  the  first  one,  mailed  October  1,  1974,  from  our  office,  had 
gone  astray  in  the  mails  in  the  seventy  miles  between  Berkeley  and  Davis .   A 
new  copy  was  dispatched  to  him  October  8,  1976,  complete  with  another  legal 
release  and  another  set  of  the  half-dozen  questions  that  the  editors  (Gabrielle 
Morris  and  myself)  had  added. 

Nor  have  Bob's  contributions  to  the  Earl  Warren  Oral  History  Project 
stopped  with  his  work  on  the  transcript.  He,  brother  Earl,  Jr.,  and  Merrell 
F.  "Pop"  Small  (Warren's  former  departmental  secretary),  and  I  met  one  chilly 
February  morning  in  1978  in  an  unheated  Bekin's  warehouse  where  the  late  Chief 
Justice  had  stored  approximately  150  square  feet  of  books,  boxed  gavels,  certi 
ficates  of  gratuitous  membership  to  what  seemed  to  be  every  organization  in 
California,  awards,  and  other  assorted  personal  possessions  which  lay  outside 
the  state  archives'  mandate  to  handle.   By  this  time  Bob  was  well  along  in 
developing  his  hobby  of  family  and  political  history  and  memorabilia,  and 
Earl,  Jr.  for  some  time  had  assumed  guardianship  of  a  few  precious  items  from 
his  father's  days  as  district  attorney  (such  as  an  incompleted  manuscript  on 
law  enforcement  of  uncertain  authorship,  office  furniture  and  the  like).   The 
result  of  our  pow-wow  in  the  warehouse  was  that  most  items  remained  a  family 
problem  as  to  storage  and  disposition,  with  only  a  few  pictures  and  significant 
award  certificates  forwarded  either  to  the  state  archives  or  to  The  Bancroft 

A  little  later  Bob  visited  the  Regional  Oral  History  Office  so  that  we 
could  see  each  other's  modest  collections  of  Earl  Warren  artifacts  and  trade 
any  duplicates  that  would  fill  out  the  other's  memorabilia,  particularly 
campaign  buttons.   Perhaps  some  day  a  suitable  museum  exhibit  on  "Earl  Warren 
of  California"  can  make  use  of  our  respective  collections. 

Amelia  R.  Fry 

30  December  1979 

Regional  Oral  History  Office 

486  The  Bancroft  Library 

University  of  California  at  Berkeley 

R.  Warren 



The  Family  Home 










Well,  let's  see.  We  want  to  start  with  where  you  were  born,  and 

Okay.   I  was  born  in  Oakland  on  January  19,  1935.  Our  last  residence 
in  Oakland,  prior  to  moving  to  Sacramento,  was  88  Vernon  Street.   I 
was  the  last  of  six  children. 

You  just  had  seven  years  in  Oakland. 
That's  correct. 

So  you  had  some  preschool  years  in  Oakland? 
I  believe  it  was  to  the  second  grade. 

Why  don't  you  describe  your  house  in  Oakland?  No  one  has  ever  told 
us  what  it  was  like.   Do  you  remember  anything  about  it? 

Yes,  I  remember  a  great  deal  about  the  house.   I  have  a  beautiful 
picture  of  it  on  the  wall  over  here. 

It  was  in  Piedmont? 

It  was  in  Oakland. 

Oh,  it  wasn't  in  Piedmont? 

No.   We  had  a  home  in  Piedmont,  but  we  moved  before  I  was  born.   The 
family  moved  to  88  Vernon  Street,  which  is  right  on  the  other  side 
of  the  hill  overlooking  Lake  Merritt.   It  was  up  just  a  few  blocks 
from  Lake  Merritt. 

Yes.   I  know  the  area  you  mean.   The  high  side  of  Lake  Merritt? 

R.  Warren 

Warren:   The  high  side,  yes.  I  was  down  there  the  other  day,  and  they've 

constructed  a  large  high-rise  that  now  blocks  the  view  of  the  lake. 
It  was  a  very  nice  home  and  must  have  been  on  two  or  more  acres  of 
land  in  all.   I  think  my  parents  bought  it  during  the  Depression, 
and  they  must  have  bought  it  for  a  very  reasonable  price  at  that 

Fry:      Yes.   A  "normal  human"  being  couldn't  touch  land  like  that  now. 

Warren:   Yes.   Right  now  it  must  be  zoned  high-density  land.   I  believe  a 

Catholic  organization  or  some  other  religious  organization  [bought 
it],  and  they  converted  it  to  a  school  for  a  short  time,  and  then 
it  was  sold  to  the  Jewish  Fellowship,  and  since  then,  it's  been 
sold  to  an  organization  sponsoring  a  home  for  unwed  mothers. 

Fry:      So  it's  become  an  institution? 

Warren:    It's  become  an  institution  since  we  moved.   Well,  not  quite  since 

we  left,  because  my  oldest  brother  lived  in  it  for  a  number  of  years, 
When  we  came  to  Sacramento,  Jim  wasn't  quite  out  of  the  service, 
because  the  war  was  still  on,  but  as  soon  as  the  war  was  over  he 
came  back  and  lived  in  it  for  a  short  while. 

Fry:      Oh  yes.  You  didn't  have  to  sell  that  home  to  buy  one  in  Sacramento, 
because  you  already  had  the  governor's  mansion  to  live  in. 

Warren:   Yes.   So  it  was  occupied  for  most  of  the  time  that  we  were  gone. 
Fry:      To  be  a  school  later,  it  must  have  been  quite  a  big  house. 

Warren:    It  had  a  third  floor,  with  a  library  and  two  bedrooms  and  a 

bathroom.   And  then  on  the  second  floor  we  had  four  bedrooms.   On 
the  first  floor  there  was  a  kitchen,  breakfast  room,  a  dining  area, 
a  living  room,  and  a  solarium  (which  you  don't  hear  of  much  any 
more) . 

Fry:      On  one  end  of  the  house,  with  glass  all  around? 

Warren:   Yes,  and  a  kitchen  and  a  breakfast  room,  and  a  formal  dining  room. 
And  then  it  had  a  beautiful  basement.   It  was  so  large  that  each 
child  had  room  for  his  or  her  own  Christmas  tree.   There  were  six 
Christmas  trees  when  we  had  Christmas.  And  each  was  the  size  of  the 
child . 

Fry:      You  mean  in  each  room,  or  all  together? 

Warren:   No,  in  the  basement.   It  had  a  hardwood  floor,  and  it  was  j-ust  like 
a  very  large  recreation  room. 

R.  Warren 

Christmas,  Outings,  and  Sports 

Fry:      A  big  recreation  room? 

Warren:   Right.   And  everybody  had  their  own  tree  the  same  size  as  they  were. 

Fry:      And  each  one  of  you  decorated  your  own  tree? 

Warren:   Yes,  we  each  decorated  our  tree,  and  all  watched  Santa  Glaus  go  down 
the  stairs. 

Fry:      Did  you  all  go  together  to  pick  out  the  trees? 

Warren:   I  don't  recall  how  we  got  the  trees.   I  don't  recall  going  out  and 
cutting  the  trees  or  anything  like  that. 

Fry:      I'm  thinking  of  six  kids — it  would  be  quite  a  trip! 
Schwartz:  Who  played  Santa  Glaus?  Was  that  your  father? 

Warren:  No.  The  two  of  them  always  got  the  presents  down  there,  but  one  of 
the  family  always  knew  when  they  were  going  downstairs,  so  somebody 
always  was  the  spy.  [Laughter] 

Fry:      Did  you  know  what  you  were  going  to  get  for  Christmas? 

Warren:   No,  we  never  knew  what  we  were  going  to  get.  We  always  had  Christmas 
Eve  for  the  family,  and  when  Christmas  morning  came,  we  went  down 
and  had  the  stockings  in  front  of  the  chimney. 

Fry:      Oh,  I  see.   But  you  opened  the  gifts  under  the  tree  on  Christmas  Eve. 

Warren:   Yes.   But  in  addition  to  Christmas  Eve,  there  was  Santa  Glaus  leaving 
gifts  for  Christmas  morning. 

Fry:      Was  your  Aunt  Ethel  at  the  Christmas  celebrations?  Or  your  grand 

Warren:   No,  I  don't  recall  any  of  my  grandparents,  other  than  my  grandmother 
on  my  mother's  side.   But  I  don't  recall  any  of  the  grandparents 
coming  to  Christmas.   I  recall  the  day  my  father's  mother  passed 
away;  I  guess  I  was  probably  four  or  five.  My  recollection  is  that 
it  had  something  to  do  with  an  anesthetic  given  during  some  dental 
work.   I  was  pretty  young  then  and  unable  to  really  understand  what 
was  going  on. 

We  didn't  have  any  grandparents  when  we  were  growing  up;  at 
least  I  didn't,  since  I  was  the  youngest  in  the  family.   And  of 

R.  Warren 

Warren:    course  my  mom  always  felt  that  was  a  disadvantage  for  youngsters 
not  to  have  grandparents. 

Fry:      Where  were  your  mother's  parents? 

Warren:   Well,  her  father  passed  away  before  I  was  born,  and  her  mother 

lived  in  Oakland.   She  lived  somewhere  in  downtown  Oakland,  which 
I  now  guess  is  the  older  part  of  Oakland  and  undoubtedly  is  under 
redevelopment.   I  recall  going  down  there  and  seeing  her,  but 
that's  really  fuzzy  in  my  memory.   That  part  of  my  memory  has  to 
stretch  back  to  the  late  1930s. 

Fry:      It  sounds  as  if  she  might  have  been  pretty  old. 

Warren:   Yes,  she  was  quite  old. 

Fry:      And  not  able  to  get  out  much? 

Warren:    She  didn't  get  around.   I  don't  ever  recall  her  coming  over  to  the 
house.  My  father's  mother  also  lived  in  Oakland  and,  as  you 
undoubtedly  know,  my  father's  father  was  murdered  in  Bakersfield. 

Fry:      Did  he  come  up  here  very  often? 

Warren:   No,  I  can  only  recall  seeing  him  once. 

Schwartz:  Did  you  keep  any  animals  out  there,  in  that  big  back  yard? 

Warren:   No.   It  was  surrounded  by  homes.   It  was  in  a  residential  area, 

except  for  across  the  street  where  there  was  a  large  vacant  field — 
and,  I  might  add,  it's  still  vacant.   It  has  never  been  developed 
in  all  those  years.  It  was  a  beautiful  piece  of  property,  but  we 
didn't  have  animals.   My  mother  is  deathly  afraid  of  cats,  and 
some  of  this  fear  carries  over  into  other  animals.  She  just  can't 
even  stand  to  be  near  a  fur  coat,  for  fear  that  it  might  be  a  cat. 
So  we  didn't  have  any  cats,  and  I  don't  recall  we  ever  had  any  dogs 
in  Oakland.   However,  we  had  kennels  in  Sacramento,  and  both  Earl 
and  I  had  dogs  while  we  lived  in  Sacramento. 

The  Oakland  house  was  just  really  a  beautiful  home  and  a  great 
place  for  children  to  be  raised  in — large,  fruit  bearing  trees, 
plenty  of  places  to  build  forts  in. 

Schwartz:  Did  neighborhood  kids  come  in,  or  where  did  playmates  come  from? 

Warren:   On,  they  came  from  all  over  the  neighborhood  and  from  school. 

School  was  about,  oh,  a  mile  and  a  half,  I  guess,  from  home.   We 
walked  to  school  every  day.   The  schools  were  close  together.   The 
junior  high  and  elementary  were  close  together,  but  the  high  school 

R.  Warren 


Warren:   was  in  a  different  direction.   However,  most  of  us  were  young  when 
we  lived  in  Oakland,  and  I  believe  only  Virginia  was  at  high  school 

Fry:      Did  you  have  kindergarten? 

Warren:   Yes.   I  believe  I  had  a  kindergarten  and  first  grade  in  Oakland  and 
then  moved  to  Sacramento  for  the  second  grade. 

Fry:      Your  father  at  that  time  was  at  a  very  busy  part  of  his  career  as 
district  attorney.   Was  he  able  to  be  with  the  kids  very  much  at 
home?  I  have  read  that  he  was  a  hard  worker  as  a  district  attorney 
and  expected  his  staff  to  do  night  work  because  he  did  night  work. 
Everyone  then,  all  over  the  United  States,  was  expected  to  work  on 
Saturdays.   This  was  before  the  five-day  work  week. 

Warren:   We  saw  quite  a  bit  of  him  for  dinner.   [Telephone  interruption] 
Fry:      Let's  see,  where  were  we? 

Warren:    Oh,  about  Dad's  relationship  with  the  family.  He  used  to  be  there 
at  dinner  almost  every  night.   I  can  recall  his  being — 

Fry:      That  must  have  taken  a  lot  of  planning  and  reserving  a  place  on 
his  calendar — 

Warren:   He  used  to  be  there  when  he  was  district  attorney  and  attorney 
general.   It  changed  somewhat  when  he  became  governor.   But  he 
used  to  be  there  in  the  evenings  for  dinner.  We  used  to  all  eat  as 
a  family  together.   Sunday  was  always  the  day  when  everybody  went 
out  to  dinner,  and  my  mom  never  had  to  face  being  the  cook  on 
Sunday.   That  was  the  day  when  she  was  treated  to  dinner,  so  we 
normally  went  out  to  the  Athens  Club  in  Oakland. 

Fry:      John  Weaver  and  some  other  people  I've  talked  to  said  that  Earl 
Warren  always  took  his  kids  out  on  Sunday  to  the  park  or  to  the 
beach  or  somewhere  and  played.  Was  that  true  when  you  were  growing 

Warren:   Yes.   Usually  what  took  place  was  we  went  to  church  (Sunday  school). 
Then  while  we  were  at  Sunday  school,  Mom  was  cooking,  and  when  we 
got  back,  the  kids  would  all  go  with  Dad  some  place,  and  the  balance 
of  the  day  was  set  aside  for  Mom  to  do  what  she  wanted  to  do.  Then 
that  night  we'd  all  come  back  and  go  to  dinner  as  a  family.   My 
mother  didn't  go  on  the  Sunday  outings.   She  kind  of  had  one  day 
where  she  didn't  have  to  put  up  with  us  kids. 


What  kind  of  places  did  you  go? 

R.  Warren 

Warren:    Oh,  we'd  go  down  to  Lake  Merritt,  or  over  to  Fleishhacker  Zoo,  or 
to  the  beach,  or  to  a  museum. 

Schwartz:   How  did  you  decide  where  you  wanted  to  go? 

Fry:       Getting  six  kids  to  decide  on  one  place  must  have — 

Warren:    Yes,  I  can't  recall  any  real  problems  in  that  respect,  but  it  seems 
like  there  was  always  some  interesting  place  to  go.  There  were  a 
lot  of  things  down  at  Lake  Merritt  to  do,  such  as  feeding  the  ducks 
and  geese,  or  boating  or  fishing.  However,  remember  I  was  somewhere 
in  the  age  range  of  zero  to  seven  while  all  this  was  going  on. 

Fry:       You  were  at  the  goose-feeding  stage. 
Warren:    That's  right.   And  I'd  just  tag  along. 

Fry:       I'll  bet  you  would  have  had  to  be  a  veritable  superman  to  have 

gotten  a  word  in  in  making  a  decision  on  where  to  go,  with  everybody 
older  than  you. 

Warren:    There  were  only  five  at  the  time;  Jim  was  already  away  at  school. 
I  think  he  was  at  Harvard  Business  College  at  that  time. 

Fry:  Jim  is  where  now? 

Warren:  St.  Helena. 

Fry:  Is  he  in  real  estate  there? 

Warren:  Yes,  he's  a  realtor. 

Fry:  Okay.   I  want  to  talk  to  him,  too. 

Schwartz:  Did  you  have  household  help  in  Oakland? 

Warren:    Not  really.  We  had  a  woman  who  came  in  as  a  babysitter.  She  was  an 
older  woman,  but  not  a  typical  babysitter  like  today's  teenager. 
She  was  an  older  woman  who  came  in,  and  when  the  folks  were  gone 
she  did  the  cooking  and  cared  for  the  kids. 

Fry:       You  mean  your  mother  normally  kept  that  house  clean  by  herself, 
with  six  kids  running  around  in  it?! 

Warren:    Oh,  yes.   She'd  do  it  today  if  she  lived  in  it.   She's  a  very  active 
woman.   She's  still  extremely  active. 

Fry:       She  didn't  have  all  the  conveniences  that  we  have  now,  either.   I 
mean,  no  dishwasher. 

R.  Warren 


Warren:  No,  and  she  had  a  lot  of  stairs.  It  was  up  and  down  and  up  and  down 
all  day  long,  with  six  kids,  or  five  kids  living  there  in  the  house, 
as  it  was . 

Fry:       Did  you  kids  do  any  of  it? 

Warren:    Oh,  we  had  our  chores  of  keeping  the  rooms  clean,  and  cleaning  up 

around  the  house  and  doing  the  yard  work.   Well,  I  was  too  young  to 
do  the  yard  work  and  cleaning. 

I  guess  it  was  mostly  Earl,  Jr.,  who  did  the  yard  work,  because 
he  was  the  only  boy  old  enough  to  do  that  kind  of  work  at  the  time. 

Schwartz:   Did  your  father  do  any  of  the  yard  work? 

Warren:    Not  that  I  recall.   I  really  can't  recall  him  ever  doing  much  in 
the  way  of  yard  work. 

Fry:       Your  father  is  such  a  football  fan  and  still  is — did  you  ever  play 
football  on  those  two  acres  you  had? 

Warren:    Yes,  we  used  to  play  a  lot  of  football  in  the  front  yard.   It  really 
wasn't  designed  for  that  use  as  it  had  several  very  sharp  drop-off s 
on  the  grass  area,  so  you  couldn't  run  for  a  very  long  distance. 
But  we  did  play  something  that  resembled  football  in  the  front  yard. 

Fry:       And  he  was  playing  with  you? 

Warren:    Yes,  occasionally.   I  might  add  that  my  father  was  a  pretty  good 

baseball  player  at  one  time. 
Fry:       Yes.   I  think  I've  been  told  he  played  baseball  at  Cal. 

Warren:    Yes.   He  was  quite  small  when  he  entered,  but  I  understand  he  came 
out  weighing  considerably  more. 

Fry:       He  was  the  shortest  one  in  his  graduating  class  at  Bakersfield  as 
a  senior.   And  then  he  apparently  continued  to  grow. 

Warren:    I've  never  seen  a  picture  of  him  in  high  school.  But  my  father  told 
me  on  several  occasions  that  he  entered  Cal  at  130  pounds  as  a 
freshman,  and  when  he  graduated  he  was  over  200  pounds. 

Fry:       I  guess  he  has  maintained  his  big  interest  in  football.   I  was 

wondering  if  he  was  able  to  coach  you  kids.  You  played  football 
later,  didn't  you,  in  school? 

Warren:    Yes.   I  played  later.   Jim  played  and  Earl  also.   His  interest  in 
football  has  probably  grown  in  the  last  few  years ,  with  the  growth 

R.  Warren 



Warren : 




of  professional  football.   He  watches  everything  on  TV  and  goes 
to  as  many  games  as  he  possibly  can  in  Washington. 

Well,  what  kind  of  schools  did  you  kids  go  to  in  Oakland? 
would  you  characterize  them? 


Well,  let's  see.  Typical  public  schools.  There  wasn't  very  much  in 
the  way  of  schools  in  Oakland  then.  I  think  we  went  to  Lake  Merritt 
Elementary  School,  which  I  believe  still  retains  the  same  name  today. 

How  close  could  your  parents  be  to  your  teachers  and  school 
activities  at  that  time? 

I  think  it  was  pretty  distant,  but  I  can't  really  recall.   I  don't 
think  it  compares  to  anything  like  today's  system,  at  least  not 
like  the  Davis  system,  where  they  have  parent-teacher  conferences 
all  the  time.   It  was  pretty  much  the  report  card  system.  Bring 
home  the  report  card  and  find  out  what  the  kids  were  doing. 

It  was  between  you  and  your  teacher. 

Yes.  Of  course,  I  think  I  probably  had  only  one  year's  report  card 
while  in  Oakland. 

Earl  Warren  as  a  Father 

Schwartz:   At  that  point,  did  you  have  any  feeling  that  you  might  be  looked  at 
differently  because  your  father  was  the  D.A.? 

Warren:    No,  I  can't  ever  recall  any  comment  made  while  I  lived  in  the  city 
of  Oakland. 

Schwartz:  Did  he  ever  say  anything  to  any  of  the  kids  about  his  place  in 

public  life,  and  any  philosophy  or  anything  about  how  you  should 
manage  your  lives? 

Warren:    No.   Never.   You  sensed  an  expectation,  and  that's  how  most  people 
behave,  based  on  expectations  of  other  people.   I'm  sure  he 
expected  us  to  behave  like  any  other  kids  would;  if  we  performed 
that  way,  then  there  wouldn't  be  any  real  problem. 

Fry:       There  wasn't  any  formal  request  or  pep  talk? 

Warren:    No,  I  don't  think  any  more  than  any  other  kids  would  have,  when  you 
go  out.   There's  always  a  little  "toning  up"  to  do  when  going  out 
with  a  large  family.   Oh,  I  can  recall  my  mom  on  several  occasions 
making  some  kind  of  innuendo  that  it  would  be  rough  on  Dad's  career 

R.  Warren 









if  something  happened.   But  it  was  never  pinpointed  to  anybody  in 
the  family.   It  was  in  reference  to  something  happening  to  some 
other  political  figure.   It  was  always  like,  "Wouldn't  it  be 
terrible  if  something  like  that  happened  to  our  family!"  in  reference 
to  something  that  happened  to  another  political  figure. 

Did  your  father  ever  talk  about  the  work  he  did? 

No,  he  really  didn't.   He  never  talked  much  about  work  when  he  got 
home  unless  somebody  asked  him  a  specific  question  about  what  was 
going  on.  He  is  more  of  a  listener  than  he  is  a  talker,  and  I 
recall  that  almost  every  question  you  asked  him  was  answered  with 
a  question  back  to  you.   That's  the  way  he  operates,  particularly 
if  it's  a  philosophical  question  in  nature.   If  it's  a  fact,  and 
he  knows  it,  he'll  tell  you  that  fact,  but  he  always  encouraged  us 
to  do  our  own  thinking  and  to  come  up  with  our  own  answers .  He 
never  really  argues  or  tries  to  convince  a  person  that  they  should 
think  the  way  he  does.   He  just  presents  his  side  of  it,  and  if  you 
don't  agree  with  it,  he  accepts  that. 

Did  he  ever  make  you  feel  like  you  were  on  the  witness  stand,  or 
otherwise  that  he  was  functioning  like  a  lawyer  in  his  relationship 
with  you? 

No.   He  was  a  trial  lawyer  most  of  those  years,  but  I  can't  ever 
recall  that  approach. 

Did  he  ever  have  to  handle  the  discipline,  or  was  he  just  not 
around  enough  to  do  that? 

He  never  had  to,  really.   There  was  never  any  physical  punishment 
whatsoever.   There  were  the  usual  things  that  take  their  course 
during  the  day  where,  you  know,  "Go  to  your  room  and  stay  there 
until  I  come  and  talk  to  you!"  That  kind  of  thing.   There  were 
never  any  spankings — not  that  we  were  angels,  but  we  knew  what  he 
expected,  and  we  knew  how  far  to  step  across  the  line  before  getting 
into  trouble. 

Were  you  afraid  of  him? 

No,  I  don't  think  so.   However, 
their  position  in  the  family. 

I  think  everybody  certainly  knew 

Are  you  saying  it  wasn't  as  buddy-buddy  and  as  much  of  a  peer 
relationship  between  the  parents  and  the  kids  as  American  families 
tend  to  be  today? 

Yes.   The  family  appears  to  be  much  looser  now  than  then.   There  was 
no  way  that  we  would  ever  call  him  "Earl."  And  you  do  see  that 

R.  Warren 

Warren:    quite  frequently  now  in  families  where  the  son  calls  the  father  by 
his  first  name.  At  that  time  in  our  lives,  I  don't  think  there  was 
ever  a  consideration  of  that  approach. 

Fry:       You  called  him  "Dad"? 

Schwartz:   How  did  your  mother  refer  to  him  when  she  talked  to  him? 

Warren:    I  always  referred  to  him  as  Dad,  and  my  mother  also  used  the  term 
Dad  in  referring  to  him.   Our  relationship  was  certainly  not  one 
you  would  call  a  buddy-buddy  relationship.   It  was  a  relationship 
in  which  we  all  had  a  considerable  amount  of  respect  for  each  other, 
and  everyone  seemed  to  know  his  role  in  the  family. 

Schwartz:   Did  you  feel  that  you  could  always  speak  out  without  fear  of  being 
ridiculed  or  criticized? 

Warren:    That's  always  a  difficult  question  for  me  to  answer  because  the 

audience  was  usually  a  large  one  whenever  our  family  was  together. 
But  if  you're  asking  specifically  regarding  my  dad,  I  never  felt 
uncomfortable  speaking  out  on  how  I  felt  about  an  issue.  However, 
there  were  my  sisters  and  brothers  who,  like  normal  sisters  and 
brothers,  would  sometimes  make  it  uncomfortable  to  speak  out  on 
something.   Nothing  malicious — just  the  normal  giggling  and  horsing 
around . 

R.  Warren 


Life  in  the  Governor's  Mansion 

Fry:       Let's  go  on  to  Sacramento.   I  was  wondering  if  there  was  much 

change  in  his  availability  to  the  family  once  he  became  governor. 

Warren:    Yes.  There's  no  question  but  that  when  he  became  governor  he  was 
on  the  move  all  the  time.  There  was  still  a  real  attempt  to  get 
home  for  dinner  together,  but  there  was  very  little  contact  in  the 
morning  except  a  quick  greeting  in  passing.   So,  he  was  gone  all  day, 
and  unless  we  saw  him  in  the  morning,  if  he  didn't  come  home  that 
night,  then  it  would  be  the  whole  cycle  without  seeing  him  for 
another  day.   So  very  quickly  you  could  lose  two  or  three  days  if 
he  was  out  of  town.  Or  if  the  timing  just  wasn't  correct,  with  all 
of  the  various  activities  that  we  had  as  children,  we  might  miss  him 
at  dinnertime.   I  might  mention  that  dinner  used  to  be  somewhat  of 
an  educational  process  when  he  was  home.   I  don't  know  if  you  recall 
the  history  questions  that  used  to  be  in  the  Chronicle  or  Examiner 
every  evening. 

Fry:       On  current  events? 

Warren:    On  current  events,  yes,  or  world  history,  or  sports,  or  it  could  be 
anything.   Each  night  it  was  different.   So  we  used  to  do  that 
almost  every  night  when  he  was  home.   I  don't  recall  how  it  got 
started,  but  I  think  one  of  the  kids  brought  it  in  and  said,  "Let's 
do  this  tonight,"  and  it  then  became  almost  a  tradition  with  our 
meals.   Somebody  would  always  serve  as  moderator  and  ask  the  question, 
and  then  each  person  at  the  table  would  have  an  opportunity  to  answer 
the  question. 

Fry:       And  were  you  ever  moderator,  as  the  youngest? 

Warren:    I  think  we  just  rotated  around,  but  I  was  able  to  be  moderator 

R.  Warren 









I  see.   I  think  what  you're  telling  me  may  be  the  story  that  someone 
told  me  to  be  sure  and  get  from  you:   a  story  of  an  "Information, 
Please"  game  that  you  played,  and  you  were  the  moderator. 

Yes,  that  was  the  game.  That  was  the  one  in  the  newspapers. 

Well,  that's  the  story,  then.   It  sounded  like  a  sneaky  way  to  keep 
you  kids  educated. 

Did  you  keep  score? 

Yes,  we  kept  score  who  got  the  questions  right,  just  to  see  who  was 
the  "smartest."  And  then,  I  recall  at  the  end  we'd  see  if  we  knew 
all  the  answers  within  our  group.  And  then  that  usually  sparked 
some  research  if  someone  challenged  the  answer.   They  might  go  look 
it  up  and  try  to  find  it  in  order  to  prove  the  newspaper  wrong. 

Was  this  just  for  the  children,  or  did  you  include  your  father? 

Oh,  it  was  very  much  for  the  entire  family.  If  he  wasn't  there, 
we  didn't  usually  do  it. 

Did  your  mother  take  part  in  it,  too? 

Sometimes  she  did.   But  she  usually  assumed  the  role  of  a  listener, 
and  unless  she  knew  the  answer  very  quickly,  she  didn't  throw  in  a 
comment.   She  also  was  very  busy  with  dinner  usually. 

Yes,  I  have  the  impression  that  your  mother  was  always  coining  and 
going  to  the  kitchen. 

Yes,  she  never  sat  down  and  ate  with  us  for  any  long  period  of  time. 
She  might  sit  down  for  a  minute,  but  then  she  was  up  and  around. 

She'd  do  the  cooking  at  the  mansion? 

Not  in  the  mansion.   Well,  it  seemed  to  me  at  the  first  that  she 
did  some  cooking.  After  that,  she  did  breakfast  and  lunch  and 
somebody  did  the  cooking  for  dinner.  Most  of  the  time  while  I  was 
in  school,  she  was  making  lunches.  We  were  all  brown  bag  carriers 
at  lunch.   She  gradually  got  out  of  cooking,  due  to  the  many  other 
things  she  had  to  do.   But  even  when  she  wasn't  cooking,  she  was 
always  running  around  helping  and  doing  things. 

Is  it  true  that  she  was  a  big  cake-baker? 

Yes.   She  made  many,  many  cakes  and  pounds  of  candy.   In  reality, 
she  probably  did  more  cooking  than  if  she  was  cooking  three  meals 
a  day.   There  was  always  some  charity  or  some  activity  which  she 
was  cooking  cakes  and  candy  for. 

R.  Warren 

Fry:       Was  this  for  clubs  and  church  activities? 

Warren:    Yes.   She  belonged  to  a  group  called  the  Tuesday  Club  (I  think  it's 
still  active  in  Sacramento) ,  and  they  used  to  have  cake  sales  and 
different  things,  and  so  she  was  doing  a  great  deal  of  cooking  for 
that  organization. 

Religious  Exposure 

Fry:       That  reminds  me:  when  you  were  talking  about  Sunday  school,  did  I 
ask  you  which  Sunday  school  you  went  to? 

Warren:    No,  we  didn't  discuss  that,  but  we  did  go  to  the  First  Baptist. 
Fry:       Did  you  continue  this  in  Sacramento? 

Warren:    Only  intermittently.   It  seems  to  me  that  we  all  went  to  the  same 

church  in  Oakland,  but  when  we  got  to  Sacramento  we  never  really  did 
zero  in  on  any  one  church.   For  a  period  of  time  it  was  the  First 
Baptist  Church  on  L  Street  in  Sacramento,  and  also  my  sisters  went 
to  the  Methodist  church  in  the  same  general  vicinity.   There  was  a 
Baptist  church  right  next  to  the  mansion,  and  on  occasions  we'd 
attend  that,  but  normally  it  was  the  other  church  further  out  on 
L  Street. 

Fry:       But  you  did  go  to  church  each  Sunday? 
Warren:    No. 

Fry:       Even  though  the  church  changed? 

Warren:    Well,  we  went  through  most  of  the  Sunday  school  process  but  didn't 
really  continue  on  to  church  services  after  that  period. 

Schwartz:   Was  the  church  in  Oakland  a  Southern  Baptist  or  Northern  Baptist? 
Warren:    Northern  Baptist. 

Schwartz:   Did  this  represent  a  problem  in  your  church-hunting  in  Sacramento? 
Was  that  why  you  didn't  settle  on  any? 

Warren:    I'm  not  sure  what  it  was.   I'm  really  not  sure  why  it  was  that  we 
didn't  settle  on  one  church  in  the  Sacramento  area. 

Fry:       Did  you  ever  have  the  impression  that  your  family  was  particularly 
loyal  to  any  one  denomination? 

R.  Warren 






No.   There  was  never  any  exposure  to  anything  other  than  a 
generally  broad  religious  perspective. 

Was  there  any  family  consternation  about  this  being  a  "mixed 
marriage"?   [Referring  to  the  marriage  of  Robert's  brother  Jim 
to  Margaret,  a  Catholic.] 

No.  I  think  there  was  some  preliminary  discussion  between  Margaret 
and  Jim  as  to  how  the  children  would  be  raised,  but  that  was  never 
a  big  question  in  our  family. 

Yes.   One  other  question  on  the  churches: 
in  the  synagogues  at  that  time? 


Was  there  any  interest 

Play  and  Sports 

Fry:  I  went  through  the  governor's  mansion  last  time  I  was  in  Sacramento 
and  took  the  tourist  tour  through  it. 

Warren:    We  did,  too,  last  year.   We  took  the  kids  over  and  went  through  it. 

Fry:       What  did  you  think  about  the  way  they  have  it  fixed  up  now?  Does  it 
still  look  like  it  did  when  you  lived  in  it? 

Warren:    It  looks  a  lot  like  it  did  then.   They  gave  us  such  an  abbreviated 
tour  of  the  mansion  that  it's  just  not  the  same  thing  as  being  able 
to  go  through  on  your  own.   But  it's  a  great  deal  like  it  was  then. 
They  haven't  changed  it  very  much. 

Fry:  There's  a  lot  of  space  downstairs.  Was  any  of  that  used  for  the 
family,  or  did  the  family  live  primarily  on  the  second  and  third 

Warren:    We  used  the  entire  house  when  we  were  there.   There  were  five  kids 
living  there. 

Fry:       Where  was  the  study? 

Warren:    The  study  was  on  the  third  floor. 

Fry:       Oh,  it  was? 

Warren:  Yes.  We  didn't  use  that  as  much  as  my  dad  did.  He  used  that  quite 
a  bit.  Then  the  very  upper  part  was  of  no  value  at  all.  The  attic 
went  all  the  way  up  to  the  very  top  of  the  home. 

R.  Warren 

Fry:       Is  that  one  teeny  little — 
Warren:    Little  room.   It  was  a  sun  room. 

Fry:       That  sounds  like  a  nice  place,  in  a  big  family,  if  a  kid  wanted  to 
go  away  from  the  rest  of  them. 

Warren:    Yes.   It  was  possible  to  get  up  there  and  kind  of  hide  out  a  little 
bit.   The  total  area  of  the  room  was  about  five  by  five  at  the  very 
top,  with  four  large  window.s  from  which  you  could  look  in  any 
direction  around  the  city. 

Fry:       It  was  sort  of  a  view  place. 

Warren:    That  was  all  it  was.  And  there  was  only  enough  room  for  one  person 
to  go  up  the  stairs  at  a  time.   I'm  sure  that's  why  they  don't  let 
anybody  up  that  high  on  the  present  tours. 

Fry:       When  you  were  in  the  governor's  mansion,  where  did  you  kids  play? 

When  I  went  through  it,  I  couldn't  really  see  much  space  around  it. 
I  think  even  at  that  time  it  was  in  the  middle  of  a  business  district, 

Warren:    It  hasn't  changed  a  great  deal.  We  played  in  the  yard  where  the 

swimming  pool  is  now.   [Governor  Edmund  G.]  Brown  put  the  swimming 
pool  in;  before  that  it  was  a  big  open  area — or  open  grassy  area. 
We  played  there,  and  then  the  basement.   You  may  not  have  made  it 
into  the  basement,  but  the  basement's  very  big  and  there  were  a  lot 
of  areas  down  there.   But  we  didn't  do  an  awful  lot  of  playing  right 
there  on  the  grounds,  because  we  had  horseback  riding  to  do  every 
day,  and  we  were  always  kind  of  scattered  around  the  community. 

Fry:       And  you  had  someone  to  provide  transportation  to  other  places.  Did 
you  go  to  parks  and  places  like  that?  Was  there  a  club  that  the 
family  belonged  to? 

Warren:    Yes — the  Del  Paso  Country  Club. 
Fry:       Yes.  Did  you  go  there  too? 

Warren:    We  went  there  mostly  in  the  summertime  when  we  were  in  Sacramento, 
or  in  the  springtime  when  it  warmed  up.   I  believe  the  governor 
received  an  honorary  membership  to  the  club. 

Fry:       Were  you  swimming  or  were  you  golfing? 

Warren:    We  were  swimming.  We  didn't  golf  very  much,  just  horse  around. 

Fry:       Your  dad  was  mostly  a  swimmer,  right? 

R.  Warren 

Warren:    He  swam  mostly,  yes.   I  think  his  clubs  are  still  there  at  that 
country  club.   I  don't  think  he  ever  played. 

Schwartz:   Did  he  ever  go  horseback  riding? 

Warren:    He  never  rode  that  I  know  of.   He  went  to  many,  many  horse  shows 
that  we  used  to  have,  particularly  those  close  to  Sacramento. 

Schwartz:   Was  he  a  tennis  player?  How'd  you  get  into  tennis? 

Warren:    Through  Maggie,  Jim's  wife.   She  was  an  excellent  tennis  player. 

I  believe  she  was  state  doubles'  champ  and  had  a  national  ranking. 
She  was  very  active  and  that's  how  we  got  interested. 

One  thing,  we  were  exposed  to  a  tremendous  number  of  athletic 
activities  in  our  growing  up.   I  think  more  so  than  most  kids  are. 
There  aren't  really  very  many  sports  that  we  haven't  participated 
in,  in  some  form  or  other,  even  on  a  limited  basis.   That  to  me 
is  very  healthy.   If  all  kids  could  have  a  chance  to  ride  a  horse  a 
few  times  and  ski  a  couple  of  times  and  do  different  things,  they 
could  find  out  what  they  could  do  best. 

Fry:       And  this  becomes  a  lifelong  hobby. 

Warren:    But  my  dad  never  did  a  lot  of  sports  himself  that  I  can  ever  recall 
him  doing. 

Fry:       You  never  went  up  to  the  snow,  to  Tahoe,  to  ski  or  anything,  did 

'Warren:    Not  with  him.   We  used  to  go  all  the  time  when  I  was  in  high  school. 
They  had  buses  going  every  weekend ,  and  we  used  to  go  up  Friday 
night  with  a  sleeping  bag  and  sleep  by  the  fire,  at  the  Donner 
Summit  Lodge  or  wherever.   We  were  the  hippies  of  the  1950s. 

Fry:       You  mean  outdoors  by  the  fire? 

Warren:    No,  inside.   They  used  to  let  you  sleep  right  by  the  fire,  in  the 
lounge  of  these  big  ski  lodges,  when  there  was  only  maybe  two  or 
three  of  us.   Herb  Jackson,  Bob  Reed,  and  myself  spent  many  a  day 
in  the  snow.   But  that  pretty  soon  got  old  with  the  lodges,  and 
soon  we  couldn't  do  it  any  more.   That's  the  only  way  that  we  could 
justify  the  expense  of  going  up,  to  go  Friday  night  and  sleep  two 
nights  there.   We  took  our  food  with  us  and  we'd  ski  all  day 
Saturday  and  Sunday  and  then  come  back  on  the  bus. 

Fry:       That  way  you  didn't  have  to  pay  hardly  anything. 

Warren:    All  we  had  to  do  was  pay  for  the  tows. 
Fry:       You  really  had  a  good  thing  going  there. 

R.  Warren 

Warren:    Yes,  it  worked  pretty  well. 

School  Days 

Schwartz:   The  location  of  the  mansion  in  the  middle  of  town  must  have 

affected  the  family  style  of  living  compared  to  Oakland,  say. 

Fry:       You  must  have  had  a  lot  less  privacy. 

Warren:    Oh,  I'm  sure  we  did.   We  probably  had  less  privacy.   But  our  days 
were  spent  at  school.  We  all  went  to  school  in  the  same  general 
area.   In  fact,  all  the  schools  connected — the  fence  lines  connected, 
Crocker  Grammar  School,  [California]  Junior  High,  and  McClatchy 
High.   And  the  fence  lines  were  all  interconnected.   So  we  just  all 
got  off  at  one  place  and  scattered  to  the  winds,  and  then  we  could 
all  come  back  to  the  same  place. 

Fry:       Oh,  I  see.  And  this  was  Pat  Patterson  taking  you,  right?  The  guard 
and  the  chauffeur.   Did  your  parents  drive  at  all  in  Sacramento? 

Warren:    My  parents  never  drove  an  automobile  after  they  came  to  Sacramento. 
I  do  have  some  memories  of  my  mother  and  father  driving  a  Lincoln 
Zephyr  and  I  believe  a  Chrysler  Airflow  when  we  lived  in  Oakland. 
To  my  knowledge,  my  parents  have  never  driven  since. 

Fry:       Once  they  got  to  Sacramento. 

Warren:    I  don't  believe  they've  driven  a  car  in  Sacramento.  Well,  my  dad 
may  have  driven  a  few  times  in  Sacramento,  but  it  didn't  take 
long  before  he  got  away  from  that.  He  used  to  walk  to  work  a 
great  deal  of  the  time  and  also  had  available  to  him  a  state  driver 
who  did  most  of  the  driving  to  and  from  work  and  other  functions. 
I  suppose  they  could  learn  to  drive  again,  but  having  not  driven 
since  1941,  it  would  be  very  terrifying  in  today's  traffic. 

Fry:       Yes,  it  would.   But  that's  a  lovely  way  to  live. 
Warren:    Not  to  have  to  drive?  Well,  yes  and  no. 

Fry:       I'd  like  to  be  able  to  go  out  and  step  in  my  own  chauffeur-driven 
car  or  even  in  an  elevated  train. 

Warren:    Yes.   That's  one  thing  that,  personally,  I  would  have  liked  to 

change  about  all  the  years  my  dad  was  in  public  office .  The  one 
thing  that  I  would  like  to  change  more  than  anything  was  that  of 
having  a  state  driver. 

Fry:       Why? 

Warren:    I  just  didn't  like  it. 

R.  Warren 




Warren : 

Did  you  feel  conspicuous? 

Yes,  I  just  thought  it  was  the  one  thing  that  set  us  apart  from  the 
other  kids . 

Was  he  in  uniform? 

He  wore  a  state  officer's  uniform,  but  we  were  in  a  private- appearing 
automobile.  But  even  so,  every  time  you'd  drive  up  to  school,  youM 
get  out,  here's  a  policeman  driving  you  to  school.   [Laughing]  It's 
either  one  of  two  things,  you  know:   you're  in  trouble  with  the  law, 
or  you're  getting  some  kind  of  preferential  treatment. 

Did  you  feel  then  or  do  you  feel  now  that  this  affected  your 
opportunity  to  buddy  up  with  other  kids  in  school? 

Not  usually.   I'm  sure  that  some  kids  cooled  off  because  of  that. 
But  once  we  were  in  school,  I  don't  believe  we  really  had  a  lot  of 
problems  with  that. 

Father's  Campaigns 

Schwartz:  Did  any  kids  ever  make  any  distinction  because  you  were  a  Republican 
and  they  were  Democrats? 

Warren:    No.   Probably  the  most  prominent  one  was  during  the  election  in 

'48 — that  was  the  one  where  there  was  probably  more  discussion  than 
in  any  other  campaign  my  father  was  involved  in. 

Fry:       You  and  your  friends  would  have  been  thirteen  or  fourteen. 

Warren:    Yes.   I  was  in  junior  high.   I  can  recall  very  vividly  that  whole 
process  and  my  relief  when  the  results  came  out  the  next  day  and 
the  Dewey-Warren  ticket  had  lost.   We  were  in  San  Francisco  the  night 
that  the  returns  started  coming  in.   I  believe  it  was  the  Sir  Francis 
Drake  Hotel. 

But  I  also  remember  everybody  going  to  bed,  just  like  the  story 
says,  feeling  that  a  victory  was  in  hand.  But,  as  we  all  know,  the 
next  morning  the  results  showed  something  else.   I  do  have  a  number 
of  recollections  of  my  father  not  being  quite  as  confident  as  a 
number  of  other  people  on  the  staff  were  with  regarcPto ~the  election"" 


Did  you  get  'any  cues  from  your  father  that  it  might  be  the  other 

R.  Warren 




Warren : 

Warren : 





No.   Except  he  wasn't  over-optimistic  about  it. 
That's  what  I  mean. 

No,  I  can't  ever  recall  him  being  over-optimistic.  Certainly  he  was 
optimistic  that  they  could  win,  but  he  was  never  to  the  point  of 
saying,  "It's  all  over,"  meaning  that  they  had  won. 

You  mean,  in  that  election  only?  Or  in  any  election? 

In  the  1948  election.   I  personally  never  did  really  get  involved 
in  the  other  elections  that  he  was  involved  in. 

You  mean  at  the  time  you  felt  that  way?  Or  now? 
All  the  time  that  he  was  running. 
Oh,  you  didn't  want  him  to  get — 

Most  selfishly,  I  didn't  want  to  leave  Sacramento  because  I'd 
built  up  some  very  strong  friendships.   I  was  at  the  age  where  I 
was  just  getting  ready  to  enter  high  school,  and  I  had  things 
pretty  well  mapped  out.   I  was  going  to  play  football  with  my 
friends  and  do  all  those  things  together,  and  there  was  this 
terrible  possibility  that  we  might  have  to  go  to  Washington,  D.  C., 
and  start  over  again.   I  personally  did  not  want  to  do  that,  so  it 
was  a  relief  when  I  found  out  that  we  would  stay  in  Sacramento  for 
another  period  of  time. 

Do  you  remember  anything  about  the  campaign?   Is  that  the 
campaign  when  you  rode  the  train  from  Seattle  down  the  coast? 

Yes.   I'm  sure  that  was  the  campaign.  Maybe  I  was  wrong  about  the 
location.   I  think  it  might  have  been  from  Denver.   We  picked  the 
train  up  at  Denver  and  then  came  into  Sacramento.   We  stopped  at  all 
those  little  towns. 

Did  you  actually  participate? 

Did  you  get  to  wave  at  the  crowd,  or 

Most  of  the  time,  I  think,  I  was  always  in  the  caboose,  where 
everybody  stayed.   But  occasionally  we'd  come  out  on  the  platform. 
Some  reporter  would  say,  "Bring  your  family  out  here,"  or  something 
like  this,  so  we'd  all  go  out  and  stand  on  the  platform.   But  that 
was  a  barnstorming  situation  where  you  just  stayed  two  or  three 
minutes,  or  five  minutes  at  most,  and  were  on  our  way.   Sometimes 
there 'd  be  a  big  organized  crowd  out  there  listening,  and  other 
times  there'd  be  just  a  handful  of  people. 

Schwartz:   Did  you  consider  that  fun? 

R.  Warren 

Warren:    I  thought  it  was  kind  of  interesting.  But  certainly  not  fun.   It 
only  lasted  two  or  three  days,  so  the  duration  wasn't  too  long. 

Fry:       You  didn't  participate  much  in  any  other  campaign? 
Warren:    None  of  the  campaigns. 

Fry:       Did  any  of  you  go  to  the  governors'  conferences  and  the  conventions 
and  so  forth? 

Warren:    The  three  girls  did,  meaning  my  sisters,  Virginia,  Dotty,  and 
Honeybear.   Almost  every  year  they  went  to  the  governors' 
convention,  and  they  went  to  the  national  conventions,  also.   But 
they  used  to  go  almost  every  place  with  my  folks  when  they  traveled. 

Fry:       Were  they  really  that  interested,  or  was  it — ? 

Warren:    They  were  interested,  because  there  was  an  awful  lot  of  social 
activity  at  those  events.   There  were  all  kinds  of  parties,  and 
dancing,  and  different  things  to  do.   Sometimes  there  were  escorts 
provided,  such  as  a  Marine  escort,  or  something  to  that  effect,  for 
the  girls. 

Fry:       I  wondered  if  there  were  other  kids  their  age  there. 

Warren:    Yes.   But  I  don't  believe  there  were  a  lot  of  other  kids  at  these 

conventions.   They  pretty  much  stayed  with  my  folks  and  went  to  the 
different  activities  they  went  to. 

My  Brother  and  I 

Fry:       Why  didn't  you  boys  go  along? 

Warren:    I  just  didn't  like  it.  [Laughing]   My  brother  Earl  and  I  used  to  go 

down  to  Santa  Monica,  almost  the  day  school  was  out,  and  spend  most 

of  the  summer  months  on  the  beach  skin  diving  or  surfing  or  something 
to  do  with  water  sports. 

Fry:       I  think  Earl,  Jr.,  told  me  that  he  even  got  a  job  once  doing  some 
skin  diving. 

Warren:    Yes.   He  had  a  business.   He  formed  a  business  (a  partnership,  I 
believe)  with  a  Japanese  individual  who  had  some  formula  for 
processing  sea  urchins.   I  ended  up  being  one  of  the  workers  for 
that  venture  for  almost  the  entire  summer.   I  can't  recall  ever 
getting  paid  for  it. 

R.  Warren 
















[Laughing]   Maybe  you'd  better  mention  that  to  him.1 
I'm  going  to  talk  to  him;   [Laughter] 

At  any  rate,  it  sounds  like  you  lived  a  very  different  life  from 
your  sisters  who  were  back  attending  the  parties  around  the 
governor's — 

Oh,  we  did.  Yes,  we  were  always  removed  from  that  part  of  it. 

Did  you  ever  think  that  you  would  be  in  public  life  at  all,  or  in 
politics?  Did  you  ever  consider  it? 

No,  never  considered  it. 

Did  you  play  football  in  high  school  in  Sacramento?  What  about 
your  father's  participation  in  that?  Did  he  go  to  your  games? 

He  went  to  probably  two  games  a  year.   The  timing  was  just  never 
right.   I  don't  think  he  was  able  to  arrange  his  schedule  to  meet 
that  of  the  football  schedule.   It  was  the  same  situation  when  I 
played  for  the  University  of  California  at  Davis  Aggies.   I  believe 
he  saw  one  game  in  four  years . 

That  was  when  you  were  at  UC  Davis. 

Did  he  influence  you  in  selecting  which  college  to  attend?  Did 
you  consult  with  him,  or  how  did  you  reach  that  decision? 

I  recall  that  I  just  made  the  decision  to  attend  Davis  based  on  my 
interest  in  horses  and  animals.   I  felt  that  I  might  be  able  to  get 
into  the  cattle  business  if  I  got  to  an  agricultural  university. 

Yes.   Your  brother  Earl  was  interested  in  farming,  too. 

Yes.   He  was  at  Davis  when  I  was  also  considering  attending,  but 
since  he  was  five  years  older  than  me,  he  was  out  by  the  time  I  was 
ready  to  enter. 

Was  there  a  difference  of  four  or  five  years  between  you  and  Earl? 
Five  years . 

I  see.   So  you'd  visit  him  here  at  UC  Davis  when  you  were  in  high 

Well,  I'd  always  come  over  to  Picnic  Day.  That  was  the  biggest 
event — really  it  was  probably  the  biggest  event  of  this  valley, 
Picnic  Day. 

R.  Warren 

Fry:       I  bet  it  still  is,  isn't  it? 

Warren:    Well,  for  high  schools.   It  used  to  be  a  very  big  high  school  event. 
Every  high  school  in  Sacramento  was  invited.  There  aren't  very 
many  now;  there  are  three.   So  they  were  all  invited,  and  everybody 
would  come  over,  and  it  was  really  a  good  event. 

Fry:       Earl,  Jr.,  was  in  charge  of  one  of  those. 

Warren:    He  was  in  charge — yes,  one  year  or  so.   That  was  really  the  major 
contact  with  the  school. 

R.  Warren 


College  Years 

Warren:    When  I  graduated  from  high  school,  I  was  a  mid-year  student,  and 

so  I  came  directly  over  here  to  Davis.  In  fact,  I  think  I  got  out 
on  a  Friday,  or  on  a  Thursday,  and  started  school  on  Monday.  As  a 
freshman  here. 

Fry:       You  didn't  waste  any  time  at  all.   In  high  school  what  had  you  been 
interested  in  besides  sports? 

Warren:  Well.  There  wasn't  much,  if  I  recall  right,  in  high  school.  All 
we  did  was  try  to  get  ready  to  go  to  college. 

Fry:       A  general  college  prep  course. 

Warren:    All  you  did  was,  you  had  to  get  the  languages  and  the  math,  you 

know,  the  required  courses  so  you  could  get  into  college.   So  there 
was  no  specialization  whatsoever. 

Fry:       Were  any  one  of  these  more  interesting  to  you  than  others? 

Warren:  Oh,  I  think  probably  physiology  was  the  most  interesting  course  I 
ever  took  in  high  school.  It  seemed  to  be  more  interesting  to  me 
than  some  of  the  required  courses. 

Fry:       What  did  you  major  in  at  Davis? 

Warren:    Well,  I  started  out — I  was  here  for  half  a  year  in  animal  husbandry. 
And  then  I  went  to  UCLA  for  a  summer  school  and  a  semester. 

Fry:       That  would  be  while  the  family  was  down  there  at  the  ranch? 

Warren:    In  the  summertime.   In  the  summer  they  were  there,  and  that  was  the 
year  that  he  was  appointed  to  the  court.   In  September  of  that  year 

R.  Warren 





he  was  appointed  to  the  court,  and  that  was  the  semester  I  started 
at  UCLA.   I  stayed  at  UCLA  to  get  rid  of  some  required  courses.   You 
know,  history  and  first  year  freshman  courses. 

So  I  stayed  there  a  semester  and  was  kind  of  swooped  up  with  the 
idea  of  being  down  by  the  beach  all  the  time,  and  it  was  great  to  be 
in  Santa  Monica.   Then  I  went  to  UCLA  and  that  ruined  my  whole  idea 
of  going  to  college.   So  I  came  running  back  here  as  fast  as  I  could. 
[Laughing]   So  I  came  back  up  here  right  after  that  semester  and  then 
I  went  through. 

I  switched  to  letters  and  science  when  I  was  a  sophomore,  and 
I  had  what  they  called  a  group  major  in  psychology  and  physical 
education.   They  didn't  have  a  major  in  either  field  at  that  time, 
because  their  letters  and  science  had  just  started  here.   So  they 
put  two  majors  together,  and  they  called  it  an  individual  group 

That  sounds  more  tailor-made. 

Well,  there  were  only  about  four  of  us  that  did  that.  We  all  went 
in  at  the  same  time,  and  it  worked  out  real  well.  What  it  amounted 
to,  we  had  to  have  almost  the  same  number  of  units  in  each  one  of 
those  fields.   I  think  it  was  thirty  units  at  that  time.   They  did 
thirty  units  of  psychology  and  thirty  units  of  physical  education. 

That's  a  lot. 

Anyway,  it  was  a  very  interesting  major, 
relates  to  real  estate. 

I  don't  know  how  it 

Fry:       Were  you  interested  in  politics? 

Warren:    No.   I  didn't  even  take  a  political  science  course  in  all  the  time 
I  went  to  school. 

Schwartz:   Were  you  playing  tennis  at  that  time,  when  you  came  to  college? 

Warren:    No,  I  played  tennis  at  the  Uplifters  Ranch  in  Santa  Monica,  and  the 
only  time  I  played  was  in  the  summertime.   I  took  lessons  from  a 
very  good  tennis  pro,  a  woman,  an  older  woman  who  must  be  about  95 
now.   I  think  she  still  plays.  We  played  quite  a  bit  in  the 

Your  brother  Earl  said  this  ranch  had  been  more  of  a  club  at  one 
time,  and  then  it  hit  hard  times  during  the  Depression  or  something, 
so  then  it  was  transformed  into  sort  of  a  family  place.  And  there 
was  a  family  friend  who  owned  a  cabin  where  you  guys  stayed.   Who 
was  that? 

R.  Warren 

Warren:    It  was  a  log  cabin,  owned  by  the  Musgroves. 
Fry:       Oh,  it  was?! 

Warren:    Yes.  A  real  log  cabin.  These  great  big  logs, 

Beautifully  notched 

I  just  can't  understand  why  he  didn't  use  it.  He  didn't  use 
this  beautiful  cabin.   It  was  a  handmade,  custom-made  cabin. 
Everywhere  you  looked  were  all  of  these  trophies:   elk,  moose,  every 
animal  you  could  think  of,  and  birds  and  everything.   It  was  a 
beautiful  thing.   Wish  I  had  some  pictures  of  it. 

Hunting  and  Fishing  Together 


Did  you  ever  go  hunting  with  your  dad? 



We  hunted  every  year. 
Where  did  you  go  hunting? 

We  still  do  it.   We  hunt  ducks  in  the  wintertime,  and  then  we  used 
to  go  over  to  the  Santa  Cruz  and  Santa  Rosa  Islands,  which  are  the 
chain  of  islands  off  the  California  coast  there.  We  used  to  hunt 
over  there  every  summer. 

What  did  you  hunt  there? 

They  have  deer  and  elk,  goats,  sheep,  wild  boar,  and  quail.   They're 
all  privately  owned,  and  they're  used  for  raising  cattle.  The  only 
thing  that's  on  there  is  military;  they  have  military  bases  on  them. 
Small,  military  installations  for  surveillance. 

And  they  have  hunting  preserves? 

No,  the  fellow  that  owned  the  island  would  take  us  over  there.   I 
think  they  had  nine  fellows  that  worked  there.   They  were  just 
regular  old  cowhands.  One  was  a  cook,  and  the  other  eight  herded 
the  cattle  all  over  the  island,  so  we'd  just  get  in  a  jeep  and  take 
off  and  hunt.   It  was  just  like  a  wild  preserve.   The  island  must 
be  forty  miles  long  and  twenty  miles  wide.   The  animals  were  brought 
in  many  hundreds  of  years  back.   They're  just  wild  animals,  but 
they're  just  on  this  beautiful  island. 


Who  went  with  you  on  these  trips? 

R.  Warren 

Warren:    Well,  let's  see.   There  was  Earl  and  myself  and  my  dad.  And  Leo 
Carrillo  was  one  of  the  fellows  that  first  started  going  with  us 
over  on  Santa  Cruz  Island.   In  fact,  he  may  have  made  the  first 
contact  for  us  to  go  there  and  hunt  wild  boar  on  Santa  Cruz  Island. 
And  then  another  close  friend  of  Dad's,  from  Oxnard,  Edwin  Carty. 
Some  way  or  another  we  got  going  to  the  Santa  Rosa  Island,  which  was 
owned  by  a  fellow  named  Ed  Vale. 

Fry:       And  you  still  hunt? 

Warren:    We  still  hunt,  but  now  it's  pretty  much  confined  to  the  ducks. 

Fry:       Where  do  you  go  for  ducks? 

Warren:    We  go  to  Colusa,  or  to  Williams.  Just  north  of  the  town  of  Williams 
to  Wallace  Lynn's.   You've  probably  got  that  name  down. 

Fry:       Yes,  I  have  the  name,  but  I  haven't  talked  to  him  yet.   Is  that  his 
own  domain? 

Warren:    That's  his  own.  Yes.  He  lives  in  San  Francisco.  I  think  we've 
hunted  there  since  '42,  '43,  something  like  that.   Every  year. 
Haven't  missed  a  year. 

Schwartz:   Do  you  always  come  back  with  ducks? 

Warren:    Yes.  Almost  all  the  time.  Dad's  a  remarkable  shot,  for  a  person 
who  only  picks  up  a  gun  once  or  twice  a  year. 

Fry:       And  he  taught  you  kids  to  shoot? 

Warren:    He  taught  us  how  to  shoot.  Yes.  We've  been  hunting  since  we  were — 
I  think  seven  years  old  is  when  I  started,  and  that  was  about  the 
age  that  Earl  got  started.  Jim  has  never  been  much  of  a  hunter. 

Schwartz:   How  did  your  mother  feel  about  your  bringing  back  ducks  and  game 
and  all  that?  Did  she  do  the  cleaning  of  them? 

Warren:    We  did  the  cleaning.   We  cleaned  the  ducks  and  picked  them,  and 

she'd  finish  them  off  and  cook  them.  She  did  all  the  cooking.   But 
we  used  everything  we  brought  back. 

Fry:       Did  you?  Even  the  deer? 

Warren:    Yes.  Well,  the  deer  was  always  cut  up  right  there  where  we  shot  it, 


Where  did  your  dad  learn  to  hunt?   In  Bakersfield? 

R.  Warren 

Warren:    I  don't  think  so.   No.   I'm  not  sure  where  he  learned  to  hunt.   He 
always  gets  the  biggest  one,  though,  that's  one  thing  for  sure. 
He  always  gets  the  biggest  deer,  the  biggest  fish,  or — 

Schwartz:   Is  it  something  about  charisma?  [Laughter] 

Warren:    It  could  be.'   It  could  be!   I  don't  know  what  it  is,  but  he  always 
seems  to  end  up  with  the  biggest  of  the  bunch. 

Schwartz:  Did  he  carry  his  share  of  the  load,  too? 

Warren:  Yes. 

Schwartz:  I  wonder  how  he  learned  how  to  dress  a  deer,  and  ducks  and  so  on. 

Fry:  Maybe  Leo  Carrillo  told  him  that. 

Warren:  He  didn't.  The  boys  did  the  cleaning. 

Schwartz:  Are  you  fishermen,  too? 

Warren:    Yes.   He  still  fishes  in  the  summertime.   He  comes  out  and  he  and 
Wally  Lynn  go  fishing.   Mostly  for  trout.  We've  been  on  a  number 
of  trips  together.   That's  one  thing  that  I  think  we  always  make  an 
extra  effort  to  do  is  to  try  to  get  together.   The  boys  get 
together  as  a  family  and  go  on  a  fishing  trip  or  a  hunting  trip  at 
least  once  a  year  for  a  couple  of  holidays.  That's  the  only  way 
you  can  ever  get  isolated  enough  to  do  any  talking.   Because 
otherwise  it's  in  a  San  Francisco  hotel  or  something. 

Fry:       Is  this  where  you  really  got  your  man-to-man  talk?  Hunting  and 
fishing  trips . 

Schwartz:  What  do  you  talk  about? 

Warren:    Oh,  he  likes  to  talk  about  business. 

Fry:       You  mean  your  business? 

Warren:  My  business.  He  likes  to  talk  about  my  business  and  what  I'm  doing 
and  what  plans  I  have  for  expansion  of  my  business.  He  never  talks 
about  the  court. 

Fry:       When  Leo  Carrillo  would  be  with  him,  did  they  talk  politics  at  all? 
Warren:    No.   I  don't  think  so.   They  just  horsed  around. 
Fry:       Was  Leo  Carrillo  a  kind  of  happy-go-lucky — 

R.  Warren 

Warren:    Yes.   Oh  yes.   He  was  a  real  happy  kind  of  a  downy  guy.  You  know. 
Always  horsing  around.   Always  kidding  everybody.   And  really  it 
wasn't  in  any  way  a  business  relationship. 

Fry:       I  think  he  was  on  the  state  park  commission. 

Warren:    Yes,  he  was  on  the  park  commission.   I  think  he  was  active  in 

getting  the  Will  Rogers  Park  in  Santa  Monica  underway,  and  all  that 
beach  front  along  there . 

Fry:       Was  your  father  especially  concerned  about  this  land  acquisition 

Warren:    Oh,  I  think  he  was  pushing  it. 

Fry:       He  would  have  been  quite  familiar  with  the  territory,  having  lived 
there  in  the  summers. 

Warren:    Yes.   I'm  sure  that  he  was  very  much  interested  in  getting  the 
beaches  under  the  state,  so  we  wouldn't  lose  them.  He's  always 
had  an  interest  in  that. 

Fry:  What  about  islands  like  that?  Would  he  like  to  see  them  at  least 
partially  under  public  control? 

Warren:    Well,  I  don't  know.   I've  never  heard  him  comment  about  the  islands 
out  there.   They've  always  been  under  private  ownership.   There 
hasn't  been  very  much  change  in  them  in  the  last  few  years,  and 
that's  good. 

Fry:       It  sounds  like  they  still  have  their  wildlife. 

Warren:    Yes.   They're  still  very  wild.   They  still  bring  the  cattle  in  and 
dump  them  out  in  the  ocean  and  let  them  swim  to  shore.   There's  a 
way  of  getting  them  on,  back  and  forth. 

Fry:       Oh,  to  keep  the  island  populated? 

Warren:    Well,  no.   They  take  all  of  the  cattle  out  there  for  fattening.   So 
they  take  them  out  on  large  cattle  boats  and  release  them  reasonably 
close  to  shore,  so  they  can  swim  to  shore.   That's  how  the  cattle 
get  off  and  onto  the  island . 

Fry:  [Laughing]  That's  a  long  way  from  lassoing  them  with  a  rope,  and 
dragging  them  along  the  corral  path.  Is  this  where  you  developed 
some  of  your  interest  in  ranching? 

Warren:    Yes,  that  was  part  of  it.   Just  being  around  animals  a  lot, 

particularly  around  horses.   My  sister  and  I  were  around  horses 
all  the  time. 

R.  Warren 

Fry:       Which  sister? 

Warren:    Nina. 

Fry:       You  were  the  two  horse  fiends? 

Warren:  We  were  the  only  two  in  the  family  that  rode.  Yes.  We  rode  all 
the  time.  We  had  our  own  horses,  and  we  rode  in  horse  shows  all 
over  the  state. 

Fry:       Are  you  able  to  have  a  horse  here? 

Warren:    No.   Only  if  we  were  further  out  in  the  country. 

Father's  Guidance 







The  other  line  of  questioning  that  I  haven't  really  gone  into  is 
the  media  things  and  reading  material  that  were  available  in  the 
governor's  mansion  that  you  remember  seeing.   I  think  before  we 
turned  the  tape  recorder  on,  you  mentioned  you  never  had  a  television 
in  the  governor's  mansion,  even  though  you  were  there  until  1953. 
Did  you  particularly  notice  what  kind  of  reading  material  you  had? 

Well,  it's  a  different  life  without  a  television  set  in  the  house. 
Yes.   It  sure  is. 

We  had  the  old  standards.   National  Geographic,  which  we  still 
subscribe  to  now,  and  Reader's  Digest,  and  those  magazines — 
Saturday  Evening  Post  and  Life  and  Time  and  Newsweek.   Those  are 
the  kind  of  magazines  that  used  to  be  around  the  house  all  the  time. 
The  radio:  we  really  used  the  radio.   I  can  recall  the  radio  being 
on  all  the  time,  particularly  in  the  late  evenings. 

Was  there  a  library  that  you  went  exploring  around  in? 

Well,  there  was  a  library,  but  it  was  all  full  of  legal  books. 
Volume  after  volume.   It  wasn't  the  kind  of  library  with  good 
general  reading  literature.  We  were  all  pretty  active  physically 
during  school  years,  so  that  we  weren't  home  until  five  or  six 
o'clock  in  the  day. 

Because  you  had  football  practice? 

Yes.   Because  of  that.  And  so,  by  the  time  dinner  was  over,  it.  was 
getting  reasonably  close  to  the  time  to  start  doing  some  studying. 

R.  Warren 

Fry:       Right.   Because  you  had  a  late  dinner. 

Schwartz:   Did  you  have  any  rules  about  when  the  kids  had  to  study,  and  whether 
they  could  listen  to  the  radio  before  they  did  their  homework,  and 
that  sort  of  thing? 

Warren:    No.   That's  one  question  we  never  had  to  ask.   Occasionally  my  mom 
or  dad  would  ask,  "Do  you  have  your  homework  done?"  But  we  never 
had  any  strict  rules  about  when  the  light  goes  out  and  what  time 
you  go  to  bed  and  when  you  do  your  studying.   It  was  taken  for 
granted  that  we  were  going  to  do  these  things.   And  they  would  get 
done  and  you  would  do  them  at  your  own  pace. 

It's  much  the  same  as  not  being  told  or  guided  too  much  as  to 
what  you  might  do  in  later  life.  You  find  out  what  you  want  to  do, 
and  you  do  it,  and  nobody  tries  to  over- influence  you,  only  provide 

Fry:       Did  you  have  a  chance  to  talk  over  with  your  father  as  to  what  you 
would  major  in  in  college,  and  what  you  thought  you  might  go  into 
and  so  forth? 

Warren:    Yes,  I  had  that  opportunity  on  a  number  of  occasions.  That's 

normally  what  we  were  talking  about  when  we'd  get  on  a  one-to-one 

Fry:       Out  on  those  islands  during  hunting  trips? 

Warren:    Yes.  What  courses  I  was  taking,  and  what  courses  I  planned  to  take 
next  year,  and  what  I  had  in  mind  for  a  future.  Those  are  the  times 
when  we  talked.  But  there  was  never  any  indication  that,  or 
implication  that  he  would  like  to  see  me  go  into  law,  or  follow 
into  what  he  was  doing  in  any  way. 

Schwartz:   When  you  weren't  on  these  one-to-one  relationships,  hunting  and  so 
on,  did  you  ever  have  the  feeling  that  he  was  preoccupied  in  his 
thoughts  so  that  there  was  no  sense  in  talking  to  him?  You  know 
how  kids  are  today  with  that  kind  of  an  attitude. 

Warren:    Well,  on  occasions.   I  never  had  the  feeling  that  I  was  being 

disregarded  in  any  way.   I  can  remember  talking  to  him  late  in  the 
evenings.   We  used  to  do  that  occasionally.   He  reads  every  single 
night  before  falling  to  sleep.   It  usually  had  to  do  with  history 
of  some  sort.   Dad  is  very  interested  in  California  history.   All  of 
us  experienced  talking  to  him,  and  he  would  fall  asleep  while  we 
were  talking  to  him.   He  may  wake  up  twenty  minutes  later  and 
continue  his  conversation  with  us  as  if  he  had  never  gone  to  sleep. 
I  don't  know  how  he  did  that,  but  it  was  just  as  if  he  had  never 
slept.   He  would  just  pick  right  up  where  the  conversation  left  off. 

R.  Warren 

Schwartz:   Does  this  account  for  his  great  energy  that  he  has  now,  his 
ability  to  nap  or  what  have  you? 

Fry:       And  even  on  those  campaigns? 

Warren.    Yes.   He's  got  a  real  good  knack  of  relaxing  and  going  to  sleep 

quickly.  You  know,  when  he's  down,  he's  out;  that  type  of  thing. 
And  when  he's  up,  he's  moving  about  and  intense  on  his  task. 

Fry:       Did  your  dad  bring  work  home  while  he  was  governor?  Helen  MacGregor 
said  that,  while  he  was  D.A. ,  sometimes  he  and  she  would  have  to  go 
work  in  his  study  because  there  were  too  many  interruptions  at  the 
office.   She  said  she  remembers  a  blonde  head  would  come  bobbing  in 
to  ask  Daddy  a  question,  and  he'd  say,  "Just  wait.  Wait  till  five 
o'clock."  Oscar  Jahnsen,  on  the  other  hand,  said  he  would  just 
never  bring  work  home. 

Warren:    He  seldom  ever  brought  it  home  that  I  can  recall.   I  can  remember 

him  setting  up — doing  some  work  at  home  and  using  that  as  his  office 
occasionally,  like  anybody  would  if  they  wanted  to  really  bail  out  of 
their  office  and  just  go  hide.  They'd  do  it  at  home  probably  where 
it's  quieter. 

Fry:       But  once  the  kids  were  home  from  school  and  the  family  was  there, 
why,  he  probably — 

Warren:    Yes.   He  didn't  bring  home  much.   He  did  much  more  when  he  got  to 
the  court.   I  think  the  demands  for  study,  for  just  outright 
research,  were  much  greater  in  the  court  than  they  were  when  he  was 

Fry:       Right.   He  had  a  big  staff,  and  he  somehow  managed  to  get  some  very 
knowledgeable  people  to  perform  tasks  for  him  as  governor. 

Warren:    Yes.   He  had  Helen  MacGregor,  and  she  was  worth  several  people, 
I'm  sure.   She  had  tremendous  ability. 

Fry:       Yes.   She's  worth  several  people  right  here  on  this  project  too, 
I'll  tell  you  that.   She's  marvelous. 

Other  Influences 


Well,  then,  the  other  questions  I  have  are  miscellaneous.   I  suppose 
you  were  in  Cub  Scouts  or  someone  was  in  Cub  Scouts,  because  I 
picked  up  the  note  that  your  mother  was  a  den  mother  at  one  time. 
Was  that  for  you  or  for  Earl? 

R.  Warren 

Warren:    That  must  have  been  for  Jim  and  Earl.   I  believe  Jim  and  Earl  were 

Fry:       That  would  have  been  in  Oakland. 

Warren:    Yes.   I  believe  that's  when  my  mom  was  active  in  scouting,  and  also 
when  we  got  to  Sacramento. 

Fry:       What  about  the  role  that  Pat  Patterson  played?  Was  he  more  than 
just  a  chauffeur  for  you  kids? 

Warren:    Well,  Pat  wasn't  the  only  one.  There  were  a  couple  of  others  too. 
Pat  is  a  real  great  guy,  and  he  was  one  of,  probably,  four  officers 
that  were  there . 

Fry:       You  mean  they  rotated  during  the  week? 

Warren:    They  rotated.  There  were  three  shifts—three  eight-hour  shifts — and 
then  there  was  a  relief  and  the  relief  worked  into  that  schedule. 
There  were  three  of  them  that  were  there  almost  the  entire  time: 
Pat  Patterson,  Paul  Egbert,  Jimmy  Waters,  and  Archie  Sparks. 

These  officers  were  important  to  all  of  us  during  our  growth 
years.   They  were  real  people  we  could  talk  to  and  horse  around  with 
and  yet  permit  them  to  retain  their  role.   Pat — we  probably  kept  our 
contacts  up  better  with  Pat  than  anyone,  because  he  was  in  the  same 
department  I  was  in  when  I  went  into  corrections  work. 

R.  Warren 

IV  LATER  EVENTS:   1958-1971 

Father's  and  Son's  Work  in  Corrections 

Warren:    He  [Pat  Patterson]  became  a  parole  officer  shortly  after  I  went  to 
work  with  the  Department  of  Corrections.  He's  been  active  in 
parole  work  and  in  correctional  counseling. 

Fry:       Oh.   I  didn't  know  you  were  in  corrections. 
Warren:    I  was  in  prison  for  four  years. 

Fry:       Oh,  you  were!  [Laughter]  Is  that  where  you  went,  right  out  of 

Warren:    I  went  right  out  of  college  here  to  the  Vacaville  correctional 

facility,  as  a  trainee,  as  an  intern.   And  then  I  went  to  the  prison 
at  Soledad.  We  lived  in  Salinas  and  I  worked  in  Soledad  Prison  for 
four  years.   Then  I  entered  administration,  and  that  was  enough  to 
run  me  out  of  state  service  work.   Too  much  paper  work — not  enough 
outdoors . 

Fry:       Before  that  you  had  been  doing  what  sort  of  work?  Work  that  related 
more  directly  to  the  men? 

Warren:    In  the  prison?  Yes,  I  ran  the  physical  education  program  in  the 

Fry:       Why  did  you  choose  this? 

Warren:    Well,  I  was  working  for  a  psychologist  named  Paul  Dempsey  on  the 
UCD  campus  part-time,  who  was  doing  some  counseling  in  Vacaville, 
and  he  said,  "I  hear  they  have  a  job  down  there."  I  was  a  senior; 
I  had  one  semester  to  go.   He  suggested,  "You  might  be  interested 
in  going  down  and  trying  it  for  a  semester  and  see  what  you  think." 
So  I  tried  it,  and  I  really  got  enthused  about  the  work.   So  I 

R.  Warren 

Warren:    applied  for  and  received  a  full-time  physical  education  and 
recreation  director  position  for  Soledad  Prison. 

Fry:       I'm  interested  in  what  you  say  about  administration,  because  one 

of  the  things  that  your  dad  had  worked  hard  to  reform  in  the  state 
is  the  administration  of  prisons. 

Warren:    The  present  California  system  is  most  likely  the  best  in  the  world. 
And  the  people  in  it  are  excellent.   1  just  can't  stand  to  be 
indoors,  and  I  can't  stand  to  process  paper.  When  I  went  into  it, 
I  was  in  personnel  and  budget  work  in  the  department,  and  it  just 
drove  me  out  of  my  mind. 

Fry:       That's  pretty  different. 

Warren:    You  work  with  people  and  then  turn  around  and  next  thing  you  know 
you're  just  working  with  paper. 

Fry:       It  was  probably  a  promotion. 
Warren:    Oh,  yes.   It  was  a  promotion. 

Fry:       This  is  the  problem.   If  you  get  a  higher  position,  then  it's  not 
fun  any  more. 

Warren:    Oh,  it  was  a  good  job.   It  was  a  promotion,  and  it  was  a  step  that 
I  had  to  take  if  I  ever  wanted  to  go  any  higher  in  the  department, 
but  if  that  was  my  future  in  the  department,  I  wasn't  interested  in 
that  part  of  it. 

Fry:       When  was  that? 

Warren:    Let's  see — '58  to  '62  was  when  I  was  at  Soledad,  and  then  in  early 
'63  I  came  up  to  Sacramento  for  three  years.   We  had  been  living 
in  Davis  since  '62,  so  I  gradually  prepared  myself  for  the  real 
estate  field  which  I  entered  in  1966. 

Fry:       I  just  wondered  if  at  the  time  you  were  in  corrections,  it  was 

still  enough  like  the  system  that  your  dad  had  set  up  that  you  had 
a  chance  to  evaluate  it. 

Warren:    It  was  very  much  a  continuation  of  everything  that  he  had  hoped  for 
in  the  prison  system.   The  same  man  that  he  had  appointed — 

Fry:       Richard  McGee? 

Warren:    McGee.   Dad  brought  McGee  in  to  set  up  the  system  and  McGee  was  in 
charge  of  the  Agency.   He  retired.   The  year  I  left  was  McGee 's 
last  year  as  agency  administrator.   Walter  Dunbar  and  his  staff  were 
also  very  much  responsible  for  the  department's  progress. 

R.  Warren 

Fry:       When  McGee  retired,  were  there  any  changes  made? 
Warren:    Well,  the  changes  were  made  when  Reagan  came  in. 

Fry:       Yes.   But  between  '58  and  '66,  at  any  rate,  McGee 's  policies  you 
feel  were  continued  then  until  Reagan  came  in? 

Warren:    Yes.   They  were  followed  right  through.  He  was  the  head  man  and  he 
ran  the  whole  system  in  California. 

Fry:       Mr.  Schwartz  may  interview  McGee.  We're  just  beginning  our  series 
on  the  corrections  system. 

Warren:    Yes.   That's  an  excellent  person  to  talk  to,  in  terms  of  how  my 
dad  was  able  to  get  that  change  through  the  legislature. 

Fry:       You  mean  the  timing? 

Warren:    The  timing,  with  the  problem  of  all  the  trusties  up  at  Folsom  being 
turned  loose  on  the  weekends  to  go  to  San  Francisco  to  live  with 
their  girl  friends  and  the  like.   It  was  beautiful  the  way  it 
worked  out.  With  the  big  problems  they  had,  the  timing  couldn't 
have  been  better  to  step  in  and  re-do  the  whole  prison  system. 

Fry:       That's  interesting  that  you  went  into  it.   I  hope  that  we  can  call 
upon  you  for  some  advice  then,  as  we  get  deeper  into  corrections. 

Warren:    Heman  Stark  is  retired  also.  He  headed  the  youth  correctional 

Changing  Political  Tides 

Fry:       I  have  one  more  question.   When  you  were  in  the  governor's  mansion, 
were  there  any  incidents  of  political  kooks  there  trying  to  get  in 
or  get  at  your  father,  that  you  were  aware  of? 

Warren:    No.   I  don't  recall  any  incidents  at  all,  where  somebody  tried  to 

get  into  the  house.   I  can  think  of  times  when  people  wanted  to  talk 
to  him,  and  they  were  very  mad  and  they  wanted  to  express  themselves . 
And  they  wanted  to  talk  to  him  right  now,  so  they'd  come  in  the 
mansion,  come  in  through  the  gate,  and  they  wanted  some  action  right 
now.   But  there  was  never  any  group  activity. 

Fry:       They  would  meet  Pat  Patterson  or  one  of  the  other  officers? 
Warren:    Yes. 

R .  Warren 









Would  any  of  your  teachers  in  high  school  or  college  ever  say 
anything  to  you,  expressing  something  that  they  thought  would  get 
back  to  him — 

[Laughing]   "Tell  your  father  to  vote  for  that  bill!" 

— or  "I  disagree  with  him  here,  or  there,"  or  "I  think  it's  great," 
and  that  sort  of  thing? 

No,  not  in  school.   I  got  it  more  from  law  enforcement,  when  I  was 
working  in  the  prison  system.   For  experience  when  I  was  working  in 
administration,  I  had  a  group  of  parolees  that  I  worked  with  and  I 
supervised  their  casework  at  night. 

I  took  a  lot  of  heat  from  the  police.   That  was  about  the  time 
when  all  the  court  decisions  on  human  rights  were  being  made,  and 
so  I  took  quite  a  bit.   I  still  do. 

The  Miranda — 

The  Miranda  decision,  and  all  of  those.   I  took  a  lot  of  criticism 
for  that.   They'd  fire  it  at  me  hoping  that  maybe  I  would  respond 
to  it.   I'm  not  my  dad.   It  was  his  decision. 

Do  you  think  it  affects  your  business  in  any  way? 

Now?  That's  something  that's  hard  to  measure.   I  really  don't  know. 
If  people  don' t  do  business  with  me  because  of  my  dad,  then  I'm  not 
really  interested  in  doing  business  with  them  anyway. 

Well,  this  is  my  final  question.   In  the  development  of  your  own 
political  viewpoint,  did  you  kind  of  absorb  by  osmosis  your  dad's — 
either  as  a  starting  point,  or  as  something  to  hold  on  to? 

Well,  only  from  what  I've  seen  take  place  in  the  state, 
we  never  discussed  politics  in  our  family. 

You  know, 

By  politics,  what  do  you  mean?  Parties?  Or  do  you  mean — 

We  never  discussed  the  different  philosophies  of  politics,  Democrats 
versus  Republicans,  the  right  wing,  etc.   There  wasn't  really  a 
right  wing  and  there  wasn't  really  a  left  wing  when  my  dad  was  active 
in  the  governorship.   There  was  a  Democratic  party  and  a  Republican 
party,  and  in  a  lot  of  respects  they  were  the  same.   I  think  we 
formed  our  own  opinions  about  politics,  just  living  in  the  state. 
I  would  agree  with  the  progressive  attitude  that  my  dad  had  about 
government  in  the  state  of  California  and  all  the  things  that  he 
initiated.   I  would  hope  that  those  things  continue,  but  there 
were  also  areas  where  I  have  reservations,  just  like  a  lot  of  other 
people  do,  about  some  of  the  things  that  have  taken  place. 

R.  Warren 


Warren : 





Taken  place  after  your  dad  left? 

After  he  left,  and  how  far  these  were  really  intended  to  go. 

Like  what?   The  health  insurance? 

Oh,  the  welfare  system  in  general.  How  far  is  it  really  going  to  go, 
the  way  it's  set  up,  and  whether  his  intention,  had  he  been  governor 
continuously,  whether  he  would  have  allowed  it  to  go  this  far. 

Dad  never  said  where  he  thought  it  would  go.   But  I  know  he's 
a  firm  believer  in  free  enterprise.   And  if  you're  a  strong  believer 
in  free  enterprise,  you  can't  be  overly  strong  in  the  area  of 
welfare,  because  they  don't  always  work  together. 

Or  the  reverse  tax,  or  whatever? 

Oh,  you  mean  the  negative  income  tax,  and  the  basic  income  for 
everybody  in  the  country,  the  guaranteed  income?   Those  things  are 
pretty  far-reaching. 

Yes.   And  they're  coming  from  people  like  Senator  Barry  Goldwater, 
some  that  you  wouldn't  expect  it  to.   It  doesn't  seem  to  be  defined 
by  party  lines . 

I  was  wondering  if  you,  like  Earl,  Jr.,  did  for  quite  a 
while,  at  least,  associate  pretty  much  all  of  your  dad's 
philosophy,  and  all  the  reforms  he  was  able  to  bring,  with  the 
Republican  party  up  to  a  point,  and  then  change  over  to  the 
Democratic  party ,  because  that  seemed  to  have  more  things  in  line 
with  his  ideas  than  the  Republican  party? 

I  am  a  Republican, 

No  need  to  change.   I  vote  like  I  want,  not  by 

Did  you  associate  these  things  with  the  Republican  party,  or  did  you 
not  have  a  party  affiliation  connected  with — 

I  never  did  see  a  great  deal  of  difference,  personally,  in  the 
parties,  particularly  when  there  was  cross-filing.  People  had  the 
opportunity  to  go  where  they  wanted  to,  but  you  still  had  the 
party  system  for  the  selection  of  candidates.   As  soon  as  they  did 
away  with  that  [1958],  I  think  you  can  see  a  real  polarization  of 
parties,  and  now  there  really  isn't  a  middle  ground  any  more. 

There's  some  very  strong  right-wing  Republicans,  and  many  very 
liberal  Democrats.   Nobody  seems  to  have  a  middle-of-the-road 
approach.   Earl,  Jr.,  may  have  gone  that  direction  if  he  had  gone 
into  politics. 

R.  Warren 

Fry:       Because  he  was  so  deeply  involved  in  it  you  mean,  or  because  it  was 
better  for  him  to  be  a  Democrat? 

Warren:    It  was  better.  He  was  an  appointee,  at  one  time,  of  Governor  Brown, 
and  he  was  Brown's  campaign  chairman.   You  know,  he  was  very  active 
in  politics,  and  so  I  guess  it  was  advantageous  or  to  his  liking  to 
switch  his  party.   But  I  don't  know  as  it  does  any  good  to  switch 
your  party,  because  some  day  it  will  just  turn  around  on  you  and 
you'll  [laughing]  have  to  switch  back  again! 

Fry:       Parties  keep  moving  out  from  under  you. 
Warren:    It's  just  a  bunch  of  labels,  that's  all. 
Fry:       Yes.   Hiram  Johnson  had  that  problem  too. 

The  Supreme  Court  Years;   President  Kennedy 

Fry:       One  thing  in  Washington  that  I  would  like  you  to  comment  on:   was 
your  dad  very  close  to  Kennedy? 

Warren:    I'm  sure  he  was. 
Fry:       Why  do  you  say  that? 

Warren:    I  think  that  the  assassination  of  Kennedy  probably  brought  as  much 
a  change  in  anything  that's  happened  to  him  that  I've  ever  seen. 
As  an  individual.   Both  to  him  and  to  my  mother.   I  think  the  assas 
sination  was  just  unbelievable  to  both.   It  changed  their  whole — 
it  changed  them.   It  was  just  a  major  blow  to  them  that  that  could 
happen  in  the  United  States.  Because  it  certainly  had  never 
happened  in  his  lifetime,  and  the  fact  that  it  happened  to  somebody 
that  he  was  very  close  to.   He  was  invited  by  Kennedy  to  many,  many 
of  the  functions  at  the  White  House. 

And  then  to  have  to  head  the  commission  was  even  worse.   That 
commission  did  more  to  age  him  than  anything  I've  ever  seen.   He's 
recovered  from  it,  though.   I  think  he's  rejuvenated  himself.   But 
by  the  time  that  commission  report  was  over,  he  was  exhausted  and 
aged.   He  had  to  sit  through  all  those  commission  hearings  and, 
word  for  word,  listen  to  what  was  being  said.   That's  every  piece 
of  testimony  that  was  given  at  those  hearings.  And  to  have  to  sit 
through  that  detail  about  somebody  that  you  really  were  fond  of 
must  have  been  a  taxing  experience. 

R.  Warren 

Schwartz:   In  the  same  vein,  I  just  wonder,  did  he  ever  talk  with  you  about 

the  "Impeach  Earl  Warren"  signs  and  movement,  and  all  that  sort  of 

Warren:    He  just  laughs  them  off.  He  has  a  very  good  sense  of  humor  about 
those  things.   He  knows  that  people  disagree  with  him.   He  doesn't 
resent  it  because  they  disagree  with  him. 

Fry:       The  right-wing  forces,  which  were  led  by  Tom  Werdel,  I  think, 
in  the  '52  election,  were  never  a  terribly  big  threat  to  him. 
Politically  he  really  didn't  worry  much  about  them.   Is  that  the 
way  you  understand  it? 

Warren:    Yes.   I  don't  think  he  had  to  worry  too  much  about  that.   Of  course, 
he  was  always  able  to  cross-file,  which  was  a  decided  advantage  to 





When  he  was  on  the  Supreme  Court,  the  right  wing  was  busy  in  the 
South.   A  lot  of  hostile  signs  went  up  about  him  because  of  the 
Brown  decision.  When  you  told  me  that  his  work  on  the  Kennedy 
assassination  really  changed  him,  I  wondered  if  you  meant  that  it 
had  changed  this  attitude  of  his  to  shrug  off  any  possibility  of 
his  own  assassination.   If  a  nut  was  going  to  get  you,  he  was 
going  to  get  you,  and  he  didn't  worry  about  it.   Did  this  cause  him 
to  worry  any  for  his  own  sake? 

No.   I  don't  think  it  worried  him.   It  may  have  worried  Mom  some, 
but  it  didn't  worry  him.  At  least  he's  never  taken  any  undue 
cautions  or  made  mention  of  it. 

He  didn't  tighten  his  security? 

He  didn't  tighten  his  security.   As  far  as  I  know  he  didn't  have 
any  security.   I  would  imagine  there  must  have  been  some  communication 
with  the  FBI  when  he  was  out  in  California  and  around,  and  when  he 
was  in  the  vicinity,  but  as  far  as  I  know  he  didn't  have  any  full 
surveillance  on  him. 

Did  he  go  into  the  South  very  much  after  he  got  on  the  Supreme  Court? 

Not  much,  to  my  knowledge.   I  think  he  went  down  mostly  for  the 
graduation  ceremonies  and  things  of  that  nature. 

He  always  avoided  talking  about  the  court,  and  I  think  that's 
part  of  the  reason  why  he  didn't.  His  exposure  wasn't  near  as 
great  when  he  was  on  the  court  as  it  was  when  he  was  governor, 
because  he  just  refused  to  discuss  the  court's  business  in  public. 
When  they  would  start  talking  about  the  cases,  he  just  wouldn't 
talk  about  them.   And  pretty  soon  the  press  got  the  message. 

R.  Warren 

Schwartz:   The  boys  never  wanted  to  be  involved  in  your  father's  political 

activities,  but  you  obviously  enjoyed  hunting  and  fishing  with  him. 
Was  that  something  that  you  set  up  in  advance?  You'd  set  a  date 
for,  and  look  forward  to,  or  did  it  happen  spontaneously  each  year? 

Warren:    It  always  happens  spontaneously,  and  it  seems  like  it  always  comes 

at  a  very  difficult  time.   You  know,  Dad  will  call  up  and  he'll  say, 
"Can  you  go  hunting  tomorrow?   I've  got  a  chance  to  go  to  Mexico, 
and  there's  two  seats  left.  Can  you  go?"  And  you  have  to  decide 
right  then. 

Schwartz:   I'm  interested  in  the  hunting  and  fishing  together.   This  sounds 

like  a  rather  frantic  experience.  But  what  about  way  back,  when  you 
first  started,  when  you  were  small  kids?  You  learned  how  to  hunt 
and  fish  through  him.  Was  it  still  frantic,  even  at  that  time,  or 
did  he  set  a  time? 

Warren:    Oh,  it  was  usually  a  little  bit  more  planned  in  the  summertime.  We'd 
know  a  few  weeks  in  advance  that  we  were  going  to  go. 

Schwartz:   Did  he  ever  change  it,  and  say,  "I'm  sorry,  we  can't  go  now"? 

Warren:    No.   He  was  usually  pretty  good.   I  don't  recall  being  disappointed 
too  many  times  regarding  cancellation. 

Schwartz:   If  he  did  cancel  out,  then  you'd  do  it  later? 

Warren:    Then  we'd  do  it  later  on,  yes.  Usually  the  cancel-out  was  not  his 
fault,  but  something  else  happened.   I  think  he  makes  an  extra 
effort  to  make  the  fishing  trips  and  the  hunting  trips  go. 

Earl  Warren  as  Grandfather 

Schwartz:   I  have  one  final  question.   You  talked  about  what  impresses  me  as  a 
very  fine  relationship  between  father  and  children.   Do  you  raise 
your  family  the  same  way? 

Warren:    Yes.   I  think  so.   I  do  mine.   I  raise  them  very  much  the  same  way. 
At  least  I  hope  I  am.  We  haven't  had — in  my  relationship  with  my 
parents — very  many  crises.   If  there  is,  it's  been  something  that's 
involved  all  of  us.   A  health  thing,  like  my  sister,  or  something 
like  that. 

Schwartz:   Are  there  things  that  you've  decided,  like,  "Well,  one  thing  that 

I'm  going  to  be  sure  about  when  I'm  a  father,  I'm  going  to  do  this," 
or  "not  do  that  because  my  experience  has  been  unhappy"  (or  a  very 
happy  one)? 

R.  Warren 







The  only  thing  I  can  say  is  that 
expectations  to  them,  and  that  as 
we're  a  family  unit,  and  I'm  the 
and  that's  our  relationship  with 
we're  helping  them  grow  up  (and  I 
grow) .   It  sounds  kind  of  overly 
set  anything  in  my  mind  that  says 
door  if  they  have  their  hair  any 
length"  or  those  kind  of  things . 

I  hope  to  convey  to  my  children  my 
long  as  they're  in  this  house, 

father  and  Carolyn's  the  mother, 

them.   They're  growing  up,  and 
might  add  they're  helping  me  to 

simplified,  but  I  don't  think  I've 
Nobody's  going  to  walk  in  my 

longer  than  a  certain  acceptable 

I  think  times  are  changing  very  rapidly,  but  the  important 
thing  is  that  the  family  stays  as  a  unit.   And  if  they  can  stay  as 
a  unit  with  all  the  rest  of  the  stuff  that's  going  on,  you've  still 
got  a  chance  with  them. 

Your  father  seems  to  be  coming  out  publicly  and  giving  a  great  deal 
of  support  now  to  the  younger  generation  during  this  time  when  we 
have  the  generation  gap  so  wide,  and  in  a  number  of  cases  so 
senseless.  But  he,  in  his  speeches  and  so  forth,  seems  to  feel  that 
it  is  in  the  youth  that  further  reforms  can  be  made. 


Now,  these  are  his  public  speeches.  Do  you  pick  up  the  same  thing? 

Yes,  very  much  so.  He's  a  believer  in  progress,  and  very  much 
concerned . 

How  is  his  relationship  with  his  grandchildren?  Have  you  read  that 
letter  that  John  Weaver  published  from  one  of  the  grandsons?   It  was 
in  the  L.  A.  Times. 

Yes.   This  is  strictly  my  observation.   It's  personally  warm,  but 
it's  very  distant.   I'm  sure  that  he  feels  very  strongly  about  all 
of  them,  but  there  are  so  darned  many  of  them.   And  the  only  time 
they  ever  get  together  is  when  they're  all  there.   So  we  all  get 
together,  and  there  are  sixteen  grandchildren  or  whatever  it  is, 
and  he  really  can  never  establish  any  close  personal  relationship 
with  any  one.   He  has  a  hard  enough  time  remembering  their  names. 
He  sees  them  once  a  year,  and  "Who's  Leslie,  and  who's  Linda,  and 
who's  so-and-so?"   It's  warm,  but  it's  really  very  distant  in 

One  of  the  interesting  things  is  that  Mom  and  Dad  have  taken 
the  grandchildren  one  at  a  time — as  the  kids  get  old  enough  they've 
taken  them  back  to  Washington  and  let  them  stay  there  for  a  week  or 
ten  days.   They  get  to  know  that  one  grandchild  for  that  period  of 
time,  and  they  get  to  go  around  and  see  all  the  sights  of  Washington, 
D.  C.   If  there's  going  to  be  a  relationship  they're  going  to 
establish  it  there.   My  oldest  one  is  just  at  the  point  where  she'll 
be  going  in  the  next  couple  of  years. 

R.  Warren 

Fry:       When  you've  got  that  many  grandkids,  to  get  them  back  across  the 
country  for  two  weeks  must  be  quite  an  effort.  Your  father's 
schedule  is  still  kind  of  on  the  incredible  side! 

Warren:    He's  still  pretty  busy. 

Fry:       Well,  I  do  thank  you  for  letting  us  come  in  and  ask  you  all  these 

Final  Typist:   Lee  Steinback 


INDEX  -  Robert  Warren 

Carrillo,  Leo,      26-28 

Carty,  Edwin,   26 

corrections  administration  reform,   33-35 

Del  Paso  Country  Club,  Sacramento,   15 
Dempsey,  Paul,   33 
Department  of  Corrections,   33 
Dunbar,  Walter,    34 

election  campaigns : 

1948  presidential  and  Warren's  family,   18-20 

governor's  mansion,  Sacramento,   14-15,  17,  35 
Jackson,  Herb,    16 

Kennedy ,  John  F . : 
and  Warren,   38 
assasination  of,   38 

Lynn,  Wallace,   26-27 

MacGregor,  Helen,   31 
McGee,  Richard,    34 
Musgrove  family,   25 

Patterson,  Pat,   17,  32-33,  35 

Reed,  Bob,   16 

Warren  family  practices,   13-14 


Tuesday  Club,  Sacramento,    13 
Vale,  Ed,   26 

Warren,  Earl: 

family  life,   1,  passim 
while  DA,   1-5 
while  Attorney  General,   5 
while  governor,   5,  11-18,  20-21 
and  his  campaigns,   18-20 

and  corrections  reform,   34-35 

and  sports,   7-8,  15-16,  21,  23,  25-26,  40 

philosophy  of,   9,  36-37 

and  religion,   13-14 

and  John  F.  Kennedy,   38 

and  friends,    25-28 

and  Kennedy's  assasination,   38 
Warren,  Earl,  Jr.,   7,  20,  22,  26,  37-38 
Warren,  James,   7,  14,  16,  26 
Warren,  Nina,   5-8,  12-13,  31,  39 
Warren,  Robert: 

childhood,   1-17 

and  father's  campaigns,   18-20 

college,   21-24,  30 

hunting  and  fishing  with  his  father,   25-29,  40 

career  in  corrections,   33-36 

and  father's  cases,   36 

and  politics,   36-37,  40 
Warren  family,    1,  passim 

while  Warren  was  DA,   1-10,  31 

while  Warren  was  governor,   11-18,  20-21,  29-30,  31 

and  Warren's  campaigns,   18-20 

and  Warren  as  Chief  Justice,   36,  39 

religious  practices,   13 

and  sports,   7-8,  15-16,  21,  23,  25-26,  40 

and  Warren's  cases,   36 

Amelia  R.  Fry 

Graduated  from  the  University  of  Oklahoma,  B.A.  in 
psychology  and  English,  M.A.  in  educational  psychology 
and  English,  University  of  Illinois;  additional  work, 
University  of  Chicago,  California  State  University 
at  Hayward. 

Instructor,  freshman  English  at  University  of  Illinois 
and  at  Hiram  College.   Reporter,  suburban  daily  newspaper, 

Interviewer,  Regional  Oral  History  Office,  1959 — ; 
conducted  interview  series  on  University  history, 
woman  suffrage,  the  history  of  conservation  and  forestry, 
public  administration  and  politics.   Director,  Earl 
Warren  Era  Oral  History  Project,  documenting  govern 
mental/political  history  of  California  1925-1953; 
director,  Goodwin  Knight-Edmund  G.  Brown  Era  Project. 

Author  of  articles  in  professional  and  popular  journals; 
instructor,  summer  Oral  History  Institute,  University  of 
Vermont,  1975,  1976,  and  oral  history  workshops  for 
Oral  History  Association  and  historical  agencies; 
consultant  to  other  oral  history  projects;  oral  history 
editor,  Journal  of  Library  History,  1969-1974;  secretary, 
the  Oral  History  Association,  1970-1973. 

Miriam  Feingold  Stein 

B.A.,  Swarthmore  College,  1963,  with  major  in  history 

M.A.,  University  of  Wisconsin-Madison,  1966,  in  American 
history;  research  assistant  -  Civil  War  and  Reconstruc 

Ph.D. ,  University  of  Wisconsin-Madison,  1976,  in  American 
history,  with  minor  field  in  criminology.  Dissertation, 
based  in  part  on  oral  history  material,  entitled  "The 
King-Ramsay-Conner  Case:   Labor,  Radicalism,  and  the 
Law  in  California,  1936-1941." 

Field  services  and  oral  history  for  the  State  Historical 
Society  of  Wisconsin,  1966-1967. 

Instructor:  American  history,  women's  history,  and 
oral  history  at  Bay  Area  colleges,  1970  to  present. 

Leader:  workshops  on  oral  history,  using  oral  history 
as  teaching  tool,  1973  to  present. 

Interviewer-editor  for  Regional  Oral  History  Office, 
1969  to  present,  specializing  in  law  enforcement  and 
corrections,  labor  history,  and  local  political  history. 





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